ST 2596 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2596 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2596 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Araucaria (John Graham) is the guest on Desert Island Discs at 11:15 this morning – don’t miss it
(you can probably pick it up later on the BBC iPlayer).

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.


1a           Plan withdrawal of US troops in retreat (6)
To get this plan, reverse Crosswordland’s usual American soldiers inside a retreat or hideaway

10a         Performer on horseback in show (4,2)
Combine someone who performs a short act on stage and the expression that means on horseback to get a phrasal verb meaning to show or put in an appearance

22a         Make a singular request and leave! (6)
A charade of to make a request or beseech and a singular number gives a command to leave (as an expression of annoyance)

25a         Express negative response in article (6)
A double definition – to say something to express one’s disapproval and an article or thing


1d           Gentle attempt to make a point in court (4,4)
A cryptic definition of tennis stroke where the ball lands close to the net immediately after clearing it

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d           Cultivated plant in a bad soil in ancient citadel (9)
Put a cultivated plant between A (from the clue) and an anagram (bad) of SOIL to get an ancient citadel like the famous one in Athens

7d           Boat put in water (6)
This small boat can also mean to put a boat in water for the first time

15d         Precisely locate origin of pain within head (8)
A word meaning to precisely locate is a charade of the initial letter (origin) of Pain, a shorter word meaning within and a head(land) or promontory

21d         Hostility surrounding second expedition (5)
Put hostility or loathing around S(econd) to get expedition or promptness

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 Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta (90)

14 comments on “ST 2596 (Hints)

  1. Another fine crossword from Virgilius this morning. After the first run through the across clues, I thought this would be a tricky little number but the down clues yielded more fruit and enabled me to finish without too much brow furrowing. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  2. Enjoyed this one, took a while to get going but eventually all fell into place, thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints needed brain stimulation with 22a

  3. Apart from a couple of clues, the sneaky 18d being one of them, I thought this was the easiest Virgilius for some time (lucky Gnomey!). Thanks to him for the entertainment and to BD for the nicely illustrated hints.

    Off to listen to Araucaria now while stoning cherries for a pie.

  4. I agree with CS, that this was the easiest puzzle from Virgilius for some time. I did enjoy it; no particular favourites, but I did like 13a.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  5. What a lovely crossword, ok it was easier than a lot of Sunday crosswords but all the clues read nicely and were all ‘workoutable’ with a bit of effort, lots of favs today, too many too mention, thank you Virgilius for making my day and thanks Dave for the hints, off to see the raft race and river festival this afternoon, hope the sun keeps shining :-)

  6. Certainly a very straightforward solve but the usual fun to be had. Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  7. Quickly solved this Sunday puzzle from Virgilius.
    Faves were :11a, 12a, 20a, 3d, 5d & 18d.

    Merci bien.

  8. I thought that this was going to be another tricky one to begin with but eventually got going and finished it without too much trouble. Last one in was, perhaps, the easiest clue in the whole crossword – 25a. 20a took a while too – I know one meaning of the answer but not that it could mean “ordinary people” too. Far too many good clues to 15d any in particular! :grin: With thanks to Virgilius and, as always, Big Dave – not just for the hints today as, for once, I didn’t need them but for this great site – every time I finish a puzzle on a Sunday I remember how, not so long ago, I didn’t even bother to look on Sundays as I could never do them.

  9. I thought it was about average for a Sunday, but I only get a Sunday paper occasionally, so maybe I’m not best placed to comment.

    Thank you to the Setter and to Big Dave.

    I’ll have 20d as a favourite.

    1. Oh, and I did get caught out with ‘horseback’ – spent ages trying to put ‘gan’ and ‘eram’ and all sorts of other things here there and everywhere. Silly me.

  10. Either 3d or 9d for today’s favourite. Once I sat down to spend some time with it there was nothing too tricky, but as enjoyable as ever. Thanks to the setter and BD for the tips.

  11. Late on duty today but enjoyed it immensely. There were 2 great clues in12a and18d. Virgilius continues to set good achievable crosswords for the Sunday market.

    1. I loved 18d too – where the hell is everyone today – don’t remember such a quiet day on the blog EVER!! Have cut grass, made 10 pounds of tayberry jam with what the birds have kindly left us, weeded entire veg patch and am now completely knackered. Going to bed soon – sleep well all. Maybe, for once, I will be the last one to leave a comment!!

      1. Hi Kath

        Just wanted to empathise with your ‘jam’ comment – my wife makes jam with whatever our feathered friends leave us, and this weekend they did particularly well with the redcurrants.


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