ST 2586 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2586 (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.

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.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post before asking questions about the site.

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 after the closing date for submissions, which is Tuesday, 10th  May.


1a           Subscribe a pound? That’s notable (6)
A charade of a verb meaning  to subscribe or enlist with A and the abbreviation for a pound sterling gives an adjective meaning  notable or important

4a           Shows moving state of affairs, briefly, about employment (8)
These shows involving acrobats and clowns are created by putting the abbreviated form of a word meaning the state of one’s affairs (5) around employment or application

17a         Fatted calf, say, present for festive occasion (8,6)
What could describe a calf, fatted or otherwise,  being inserted into legwear is actually a present for a festive occasion

27a         Showing effects of strain in fight with editor (6)
An adjective meaning showing the effects of strain is a charade of a fight with an ED(itor)


1d           Wise behaviour, having extended account with financial centre (8)
This wise behaviour is a charade of an extended account or chronicle and the financial centre of London

5d           Risk about article leading to bitterness about this volume (8,6)
Put a word meaning risk around the indefinite article, add words meaning bitterness and about or concerning and the result is a non-metric measure of volume

15d         Quick movement, penning boy’s first name (9)
Put this swiftness of movement around (penning) B (Boy’s first) to get a name or allegedly famous person

22d         Gripping part of hobby expert alone comprehends (5)
This part of a bird used for gripping is hidden inside the rest of the clue

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!

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Ray Parker, Jr (57), Rita Coolidge (66) and Judy Collins (72)



  1. gnomethang
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Another very enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius. The NE corner took me the longest by far but the resolution was extremely satisfying. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • Geoff
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      … which is precisely where I’m stuck- will come back it later.

  2. Franco
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable Sunday puzzle. The NE corner was difficult – the last in for me were 4a & 7d – pleased that I didn’t revert to “cheating” although these two clues took ages.

    17a – “Fatted Calf” – very amusing!

    I fail to understand the relevance of “ charge” in 14a?

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      The second word is a routine or turn inside a charge or monetary amount.

      • Franco
        Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Aahh! Everything is now clear! Thanks Gazza!

  3. crypticsue
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I did struggle with this one and wondered whether I was suffering from post-London gathering disorder so was relieved to learn that everyone else struggled with the NE corner too. Thanks to Virgilius for the crossword and BD for the hints.

  4. mary
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave glad you all had a good day yesterday, I am still stuck on 6d and 13a, any help off anyone would be very welcome :-)

    • mary
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      ok Gnomes law got 6d now only 13a to go

      • mary
        Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Got 2d but don’t understand the last bit? still not got 13a

        • gazza
          Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          13a Inside right container I loaded maximally (7)
          The definition is loaded maximally (i.e. to the greatest extent). Put I between Right and a container.

          • mary
            Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            loaded as in wealth Gazza?

            • mary
              Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

              If so then I have 7d wrong!

            • gazza
              Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


              • mary
                Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

                thanks for that now I just need 7d! :-)

                • gazza
                  Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

                  7d Birds to shoot – precisely (5)
                  A verb to shoot precisely and from a distance is also types of bird (singular same as plural).

                  • mary
                    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

                    Thnaks Gazza, never heard that used as a verb, well maybe I have and have just forgotten! :-)

                • Franco
                  Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

                  7d is difficult to explain without breaking the Prize Crossword rules.

                  It’s a double definition

                  1) Birds that have the same form in both singular and plural (so no need for a final “s”).
                  2) to shoot from a (hidden position) – “precisely” – only if they hit the intended victim!

                  • mary
                    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

                    thanks Franco so if you put an ‘r’ on the end you might get a hidden shooter? thank you :-)

            • Franco
              Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

              Mary, Yes – Loads of money!!

              • mary
                Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

                thanks Franco, 7d??

        • gazza
          Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          2d The left-winger is an abbreviated form of a type of Communist.

          • mary
            Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes I see that now Duh!

  5. Qix
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straightforward, but very enjoyable puzzle. I find myself looking forward to Sunday’s DT crossword nowadays.

    • Libellule
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      I also found this an “easier” Virgilus puzzle, but enjoyed it immensely. Now if I could only say the same for the Quick which I found more difficult than the Cryptic…

      • Qix
        Posted May 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        I really have no interest at all in “quick” crosswords. I’ve always found them tedious, with no sense of having achieved anything on completion.

      • Posted May 2, 2011 at 1:00 am | Permalink

        The “Quick” took me two and a half times as long as the Cryptic!

  6. mary
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Daves hints and Gazzas help I have finished all but 7d, perservation once again the name of the game! Having said that I enjoyed several clues today, 10a, 21a, 26a, 11a and 6d when I eventually ‘saw’ it! maybe 7d will come to me in a dream tonight! thanks both for your help, good day for Liverpool today, Arsenal leading Man U at the moment – Yes! :-)

    • Qix
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Re 7d: It’s a double definition; the first is the first word, the second is the other three.

      • mary
        Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        thanks Qix thats why I put ‘swift’ at first but I really can’t think of the right answer unless if you added an ‘e’ on the end it would give you a type of soldier maybe?

        • mary
          Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          sorry that’s all wrong please ignore me!

  7. mary
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Yes finished ‘with a little help from my friends’ as the Beatles sang – thanks all that’s a relief :-D

    • Nubian
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Now I hope you are not going to gloat Mary. I thought I would watch it until the first goal as the sun was nice and hot outside, needless to say I didn’t have long to wait. Well done, at least Sunderland had the same outcome yesterday so gloating rights are with you, should you choose to use them. I went and had a nice warm afternoon in the garden watching the sweet peas and talking to myself.

      • mary
        Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        As if Nubian! :-) it happens to us all, why were you talking to yourself when you could have talked to the sweet peas? I love sweet peas

  8. makada
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    All done bar 13a. Needed Big Dave to get me started. My fav 17a. LOL

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Hi Makada – welcome to the blog.
      For 13a see comment #4 above.

  9. Dennis
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Is there a word for the kind of clue 22d is? As well as the answer being part of “hobby expert alone comprehends”, it is also part of a hobby.

    • Franco
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink


      It’s a hidden clue! Definition: “Gripping part…”(?)

      • gazza
        Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        I think that the definition is “gripping part of hobby” (a hobby being a type of falcon).

        • Dennis
          Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Surely if the definition includes hobby then the rest of the clue doesn’t make sense. With just “gripping part” being the definition then the use of the word
          hobby is either coincidental or clever. I was just wondering if there was a possibly amusing word in crosswordland for the inclusion of a
          word that, while it could have been anything, happens to enhance the definition part, i.e., as suggested, a hidden clue.

          • gazza
            Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            Very little is coincidental in a Virgilius clue. The definition is “gripping part of hobby” and the answer is hidden (comprehends) in the remainder of the clue. The surface reading is trying to misdirect you into thinking of hobby as a pastime.

          • Franco
            Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            22d – Unless I’m wrong, I still think this is a “hidden” clue. I’m now wondering what is the relevance of “…comprehends”.

            Very strange, but I read this clue and instantly entered the right (?) answer. I’m surprised to have missed so many nuances! Perhaps, I’m always looking for at least one “hidden” clue in each Crossword?

            • gazza
              Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

              Comprehends is telling you that “expert alone” comprehends (contains) the hidden answer.

        • Franco
          Posted May 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          I bow to your superior knowledge! How do you know such things? Very impressed! I always thought that a hobby was just a “hobby”.

        • Geoff
          Posted May 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Months and months ago I asked for a hint on an ST clue. BD’s reply was, something like, ‘Virgilius is the master of the hidden word’. So now I always look out for them on a Sunday!

  10. Addicted
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Have managed to finish at about the fourth session and with some help from the hints – thanks BD! Don’t think 17a would ever have dawned without you – what a lovely clue, once you get the answer. Don’t think 4a would have clicked, either, though it should have as I kept thinking of that 3-letter word that means to employ – hey ho! the brain can get a bit “locked in” on a single track sometimes, can’t it? Always pleased if I finish the Sunday one, so many thanks for hints.

  11. Mike in Amble
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle very much. South east corner held me up but got there in time to watch the Toon come a cropper. :( Favourite today was 22d. Hope the smiley works Mary. Thanks to setter and BD

    • mary
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      you are expert now Mike :-D, good day for Liverpool sorry, we can’t all be winners!

      • Mike in Amble
        Posted May 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary. :*

  12. Jezza
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I started this one confidently, and then ground to a halt with half a dozen left. My last one in was 7d.
    I thought this was trickier than recent Sunday puzzles, but no less fun.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

    • mary
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      last one for me too Jezza as you can see from above!

  13. Geoff
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Unstuck now, after a good walk by the river and a little help from Mary and Gazza on 13a/7d (thank you!). A puzzle of two halves for me, with the left side going in much more easily than the right.

    Most enjoyable, thanks to Virgilius and BD, needed some of the hints for the right side

  14. Posted May 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Is the answer to the clue about being loaded a proper noun named after a man who invented a scale?

    • Franco
      Posted May 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Patsy – Is the clue in question 13a?

      I don’t think it’s anything to do with the scale used to measure Earthquakes.

      See Comment #4 above – if you navigate your way through this comment you may find the answer. Good Luck!

  15. Prolixic
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Very rarely do the Sunday crossword from the paper version but, as I was visiting parents this weekend, today was an exception. It took almost as long to find the crossword as it took to solve it! On-line solving sometimes has its advantages!

    Many thanks to Virgilius for another gem and to BD for the notes. I agree that the NE corner was the trickiest with 4a and 7d with the last to fall,

  16. Posted May 1, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Franco. It’s the equivalet of Fat, Fatter FATTEST, right?

    • Qix
      Posted May 2, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      It’s a superlative, yes (from “maximally” in the clue). I think that you have it!

    • Franco
      Posted May 2, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      Superlative adjective describing someone with the most “wonga”.

  17. Spindrift
    Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Just got round to giving this some serious thought. Stuck on 8d only. I think I know what it is but can’t convince myself. Favourite clue was 22d which I thought very clever. Thanks to V & to BD.

    Now I’ll press “Post” & wait a gnoment…

    • Spindrift
      Posted May 2, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Told you!

  18. alanH
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks to virgilus and big dave
    17a and 22d were my favourites
    I almost gave up on the last 6 clues
    but resisted the temptation to look at the hints
    then 17a came as a ‘lightbulb’ moment
    which allowed me to finish unaided – well,
    with the help of Chambers of course.

  19. Derek
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Very late input from me as got the grid late on Sunday and was too occupied watching the Crucible to start!
    Did the puzzle in spasms yesterday and today.
    Very enjoyable Virgilius!
    Favourites were : 14a, 17a, 5d, 9d & 22d.