ST 2594 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2594 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Prolixic

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As is unusual for the weekend prize crosswords, I (and not Big Dave) will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.  Big Dave’s is not suffering the excesses of yesterday’s Sloggers and Betters Midland’s 2 meeting but is having troubles with his laptop at the moment.

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.


1a Sails South to see how the land lies (7)
Put another word for sails (the material from which they are sometimes made) and an abbreviation for South to get a word meaning to see how the land lies (as in testing the public’a opinion).

15a Graduate’s university, say, making change about degrees (4,5)
A Latin phrase that describes the university a graduate attended comes from putting a word meaning change around an abbreviation (written twice) for a higher degree for which you may study after a BA (or pay £10 to receive if you went to Oxford or Cambridge).

23a Medics outside university with a parent giving theatrical version of events (9)
A word describing a TV programme that presents a real life story as a play or film comes from two different abbreviations for a doctor (medics) around the abbreviation for University followed by an A and a short word meaning mother (parent).

28a Ruin of the French city of Paris (7)
A word meaning ruin comes from the French for “of the” followed by the city with which Paris was associated in Greek history.


1d Calm down crazy fool of Conservative initially (4,3)
This phrase meaning calm down comes from the abbreviation for Conservative followed by an anagram (crazy) of “fool of”.

17d People that matter in the Doctor’s multinational medical group (4,3)
A phrase (the title of a book listing the names and backgrounds of people that matter) comes from TV’s favourite Doctor who travels time and space with an S (possessive case) and the abbreviation of a multinational medical group.

18d Dramatic situation in which a masked man wields blade (7)
A double definition of a place where you may see a drama and a place where surgeon replete with mask and scalpelmay perform operations.

24d Classic violin turning up in slow movements? On the contrary (5)
A word meaning the opposite (on the contrary) of slow movements comes from reversing (turning up) a make of classic violin.

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 Chris Isaak (55)



  1. Nubian
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    After three weeks holidaying in Germany it was nice to get back to reality. I couldn’t get used to the police sitting quitely watching as I raced passed at 130 mph. There is something not quite right somehow.
    It took a while to get the grey matter going but I enjoyed getting back in the swing. I found all the clues fair and the result a good sense of achievement.
    Thanks to the Setter and Prolixic.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Ooh I have did fun with this one at 7.30 this morning (no chance for a lie-in as I have a long list of tasks to achieve today). I was also very lucky as others had trouble with the Screwed Up site today but I managed to get straight in and print off the crossword. Virigilius presented us with a lovely variety of clues today, the top went in much quicker than the bottom as there were some tricky blighters in the south :) Did anyone else stray into the realms of the Mask of Zorro with 18d, or was that just me. I will have to pick a favourite or two as I type the review – it’s too muggy here to think straight now. Thanks to Virgilius and Prolixic.

    • Dickiedot
      Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Guilty! Got there in the end though, thouroughly enjoyable, thanks Virgilius and Prolixic

    • Franco
      Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      18d – I also thought of Zorro – many thanks to Prolixic for the explanation.

      I found the SE corner was very difficult and was held up by putting the answer to 24d – Classic violin – upside down. (I always get this type of clue the wrong way round)

      I would appreciate an explanation for 21d, please. “ill-gotten gains”?

      • Prolixic
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        The IT in the clue goes inside a five letter slang word meaning ill-gotten gains.

      • Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        I did the same on the violin, Franco.
        Chambers gives the word for ill-gotten gains at definitions 4 & 5. ‘Money unexpected or in excess of what one might expect’ and also ‘Money obtained by corrupt practices or graft’
        There is a phrase associated that you are no doubt aware of but I had to look up to check the definition.

        • Franco
          Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          Time to catch my train! Where’s my coat?

      • Jezza
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        One definition of the 5-letter word you are referreing to is defined as money illegally or dishonestly acquired (ill-gotten gains),

    • Lostboy
      Posted June 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Zorro and violins…… we are so easy to fool…….

  3. Qix
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this one. The clues were of a very high standard indeed.

  4. Centurion
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Found this a bit of a corker. Balanced with some strong clues made for good entertainment in the sun. Liked 26a which I didn’t get at first and 2d. My sorta puzzle really so thanks to all.

  5. Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and up to the usual Sunday Puzzle high standard.

    I have just updated my blog with my visit to the S&B gathering yesterday.

    Birmingham Sloggers and Betters Meet – Saturday 25th June

    • Libellule
      Posted June 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Wow – the pink background is quite striking.

  6. Jezza
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Virgilius for the usual top quality Sunday puzzle. I put a tick against 28a, and 17d, but they were all good!

  7. Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Excellent Stuff – I deliberatley slowed down on this just to enjoy the clues and it was well worth it. 17d, although completely solvable, completely bamboozled me as to where all the letters went!. 18d was a sublime piece of work!
    Thanks to Virgilius and to Prolixic.

  8. gazza
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The usual brilliance from Virgilius – thanks to him and Prolixic. My favourites were 11a and 23d.

    • Franco
      Posted June 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I’ve solved 11a but I think I am missing something. (presumably nothing to do with “number ten” aka 10a)?

      PS. Has this web site changed again? Or is it me? I’m Currently using Google Chrome. (Internet Explorer and Mozilla seem to have a different format for posting comments)

      • gazza
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        11a Its political leaders are unlikely to get to number ten (9)
        This is rule by a small number of people (unlikely to number as many as ten).

        • Franco
          Posted June 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          Gazza, Thank you very much for the explanation! I think I will now gracefully retire from cryptics.

          • gazza
            Posted June 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            Don’t do that, Franco. Your contributions here are highly valued.

  9. Brendam
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    What sheer enjoyment, loved so many clues too many to pick a favourite. Had younger daughter and son-in-law for the weekend so didn’t finish the xword till after they left, to the strains of International Cycle Cyclone, police motorbikes and television crews, not our usual village quiet scene!! Thanks to Vergilius and Prolixic, not needed today but read anyway to verify my answers

  10. Brendam
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Something has happened!! Old format plus full name, usually Brendam. What’s agoing on?

    • gazza
      Posted June 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      It looks as though you entered your comments via the Facebook log in.

    • Posted June 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink


      I’ve changed your name and removed the link to facebook from your comments.

      Next time you comment, select guest and it shoiuld be ok.

      • upthecreek
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        It doesn’t work

        • upthecreek
          Posted June 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          It worked!

  11. Beangrinder
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff today. First Sunday I’ve finished in ages so it must be easier! Quality throughout. Thanks.

  12. Kath
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Have done this in dribs and drabs today spending half hour in shade doing crossword and the next half hour in sun cutting 1/3 acre of grass. Have finished one but not the other and there are no prizes for guessing which way round it is. Still have five that I can’t do and it’s pushing it a bit to ask for hints, I think, so will just admit defeat and blame my sizzled brain! Very quiet here today. Thanks to Virgilius and Prolixic. Sleep well all.

  13. upthecreek
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Could not get in yesterday or this morning but your new system seems OK now although it is different every time I try to post. Good crossword today with 18d favourite by a mile. Many other good clues but spoilt by 23a which was unheard of in Chambers 1983. Luckily, Onelook came to the rescue. Where is Mary?

  14. Addicted
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Where were you when I needed the hints?? However, it made me finish without them, though I found it pretty hard work. Great clueing (if that’s a word?) – when you got the answer it was obvious but it took ages (for me at least) to get there. Really enjoyed it to-day – thanks to setter.

  15. Heno
    Posted June 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    It must be easy, because I finished it too :-)
    Thanks to Virgilius and Prolixic , my favourites were 28 across and 24 down.
    May as well post it, could do with a new pen !

  16. Spindrift
    Posted June 27, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Most enjoyable! However still got 14d & 23a to complete. Any hints would be most welcome no matter how nebulous.
    Many thanks to V & to P.

    • Spindrift
      Posted June 27, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Doh! Not 23a but 23d! I blame it on yesterday’s sun & the amount of wine consumed!

      • gazza
        Posted June 27, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        23d Old saw (6)
        “Saw” is a verb in the sense of “are you seeing anyone at the moment?”.

        14d The point of entering is to beat senior (9)
        The point at which you enter your house.

        • Spindrift
          Posted June 27, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          Thanks Gazza. I had 25 as “witle##” hence the reason why I could not complete!

  17. Derek
    Posted June 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Did the Sunday puzzle this evening – after posting my comment on Saturday’s!
    Very enjoyable fare from Virgilius – comme d’habitude.
    Faves were : 1a, 13a, 15a, 25a, 28a, 2d, 14d, 17d & 21d.

    Nice posting Prolixic – I liked the word “unusual” at the very start!

    Next job is today’s – but I’ll tackle it tomorrow.