ST 2597 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2597 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2597 (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.

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           In which one pursues mate without seeing any men (9,5)
This version of a game in which both players try to achieve mate is played without being able to look at the board

19a         Persian king seizing power in divided island (6)
Start with a Persian king and then insert (seizing) P(ower) to get an island divided between Greece and Turkey

22a         Evita Peron I backed, exchanging two letters — producing no effect (11)
Reverse (backed) the first three words and then swap the P and the R to get a word meaning producing no effect

27a         Theoretician who doesn’t have to stand up for his opinions? (8,6)
A cryptic definition of a person who expresses his views, typically while watching television


1d           Source of gratuitous advice from champion behind golf club (4-4,6) [given online as (9,6) until corrected]
This person freely offers advice to the one in control of a car – it’s a charade of a verb meaning to champion, the behind and a golf club

2d           Young female patient swallowing drug that’s banned (7)
How you might describe a young female patient (3,3) is placed around the drug common in discos to get an adjective meaning  banned or against the law

16d         With lawyers, first of all, the answer is material (8)
A charade of the collective name for those people who are qualified to plead in a higher lawcourt, the first letter of All, THE from the clue and A(nswer) gives a fine woollen cloth

25d         Piece of circular curve (3)
This piece of a circular curve is hidden in 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 David Hasselhoff (59) and the Duchess of Cornwall (64)

41 comments on “ST 2597 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyable puzzle, with some juicy long clues around the periphery to help getting started.

    Really liked 25d. Very simple, but very nice.

  2. A super start to Sunday, thank you Virgilius. Like Qix I too am a fan of 25d. I also liked 22a – it’s funny how you see what you want to see – it took me longer to work out the ‘exchanging two letters bit’ than it did to solve the whole crossword!

  3. Nice puzzle. Thank you to Big Dave for showing the full word-play behind 22a – a clever construct.

    I like 25d for simplicity and an excellent surface reading, but I’ll have 1a as a favourite, 27a as runner-up.

    Thank you also to Virgilius (I presume).


    1. Oh, and I’d like to express my appreciation for 13d NOT having the letters ‘MP’ for politician.

  4. Does anyone still use the the last 3 letters of 2d to describe a female? It’s becoming another of those words that only appears in crosswordland! Enjoyable crossword – many thanks to compiler and reviewer.

  5. The Sunday puzzle is my favourite – just wish it would last a little bit longer!

    BD – Alf Garnett seems to be a bit above his station – never thought that he was a Grandmaster.

  6. I found this quite difficult and, at one point, thought that I was going to have to retire hurt!! Anyway, finished now although I’ve never heard of 1a and needed the hint to explain it – had the first word right (couldn’t be much else) but had the second word as one that some dogs (not ours, thankfully) do to cats! 23a – I get the bit about the fruit being cropped but why the “or twice” bit? Lots of these have taken me a long time but I’ve enjoyed the crossword very much. I particularly liked 9, 12, 15 and 27a and 1, 8 and 13d. Favourite of all, and last one in, 24a. Thanks to Virgilius(?) and Big Dave.

    1. 23a – if you add the solution to “r” you get one bit of fruit. If you add it to “ch” you get another piece of fruit. (Somehow I feel I might be sent to the naughty corner)

    2. “or twice” because you drop one letter from a fruit or two letters from a different one.

      1. Thanks Franco and Gazza – had a dim moment, or several, and hadn’t even thought of the fruit with the extra TWO letters! :oops:

      2. I saw the ‘fruit’ as being either singular or plural so that one could remove either the R from one fruit or the RS from several of them.

  7. Good afternoon Dave, unlike Qix I had two of the long peripheral clues left almost to the end, 1a and 1d, never heard of 1a, also never heard of 16d, like Kath I didn’t find it too easy today and unfortunately haven’t got a favouite clue

    1. 16d – I thought this was the Ladies’ revenge for cricket clues – apparently “soft fabric,with a hopsack twill weave giving a surface that is lightly pebbled or ribbed”. :wink:

  8. Another belter from Virgilius & thanks to BD for the clues. What to do with the rest of Sunday? Golf I suppose given that I’m on my jack until tomorrow.

  9. Found this to be a real grind. I even had to switch the golf off for a while and concentrate. I got 8d straight away but the other 3 big uns round the outside were virtually the last in. That honour goes to 16d which I solved from the wording but had never heard of. Chambers as usual confirmed. No particular favourites and a 3* for difficulty. Thanks Dave and the setter.

    1. I remember being very proud to wear a blazer made of such material when I entered the 6th form back in the seventies.

      1. I had to wear one of those in the accursed 70’s too. Not the remotest idea what it was made of though. Spent most of my time wishing it was my rugby shirt instead, whilst gazing out of the window. Unless of course it was maths and being taught by the delicious Miss Gray. Ah….

  10. Top quality as usual! 25d was a definite favourite amongst many. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

      1. All fine thanks Jezza. Just hanging out witht the service guys for a bit to remind myself on some specific controls software and then will be on the projects side of things.

    1. Hi bjb sjh – welcome to the blog.

      10a Keep going in university after second mark (7)
      The definition is to keep going. Put an abbreviation for university after the abbreviation for second, then add a (dirty) mark.

  11. Very pleasant diversion today but please anyone explain the last one to go in, 26a. Can’t unpick it at all but given the word play there is only one answer. Best clue for us was 1d and learnt a new sport today, 1a, bizarre! Thx to the setter and a pleasant Sunday to all.

    1. 26a Organised workers give approval to rule backing strike (7)
      The definition is strike, in the sense of downing tools. The wordplay requires you to reverse (backing) two abbreviations and a synonym for rule.

      1. Thx Gazza, no wiser but appreciate you trying to educate a dolt! Perhaps the answer isn’t an unauthorised strike.

        1. Brian,
          I’m sure you’ve got the right answer.
          There are three components:
          1) a 2-character abbreviation for a workers’ organisation,
          2) a 2-letter abbreviation for an informal word meaning “that’s satisfactory” or “go ahead” (give approval).
          3) a 3-letter synonym for a rule or statute.
          When you’ve got all three, reverse (backing) the lot.

  12. Great CW but really stuck on 5d cannot get my head round it…any hints would help its .. holding up the Roast Dinner & hubbies getting hungry while watching the Golf !!

    1. 5d – Hope the roast isn’t burnt!

      The definition = Planned. A synonym for “action” surrounding (without) a synonym for “notice”.

  13. Once again Virgilius does not disappoint. Another treat for a Sunday morning. Many thanks to him for the entertainment and to BD for the hints.

  14. Finished this yesterday but then we had a visitor we hadn’t seen for two years so did not post comment.

    Usual enoyable fare from Virgilius.
    1a, 9a, 12a, 24a, 27a, 1d, 4d, 13d, 16d & 18d were my faves.

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