ST 2601 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2601 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2601 (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           Consumer group’s early round-table talks (5,9)
A cryptic definition of the early-morning meal consumed by a group who gather round a table to talk

17a         Painstaking, albeit poetically imprecise (8)
A word meaning painstaking or meticulous is a charade of a poetic word for albeit or while and an adjective meaning  imprecise or approximate

21a         Disregarded ring lover foolishly accepted (10)
A word meaning disregarded or ignored is a charade of a ring-shaped letter, an anagram (foolishly) of LOVER and a word meaning accepted or agreed

26a         Quartet, perhaps, whose moving performance can help after tragedy (9,5)
A cryptic definition of a group of people (four perhaps) who carry the wounded from the battleground (or the football pitch!)


1d           Exercise in papers at university (5-2)
This gymnastic exercise is a charade of a collective word for the newspapers and the usual two-letter word meaning “at university”

2d           Met expectations? (7,8)
… expectations issued by the Met Office

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d         Figure of speech about high-class theatrical company (6)
Put a figure of speech, properly one in which a word or expression is used in other than its literal sense, around the single-letter used to indicate upper-class to get a company of theatrical performers

19d         It’s rewarding for author such as James, Henry or Lear, Edward (7)
This reward for the use of an author’s work could also describe James and Henry or Lear and  Edward, and several others, collectively

23d         Comrades turning up for strike (4)
Reverse (turning up) these comrades to get a verb meaning to strike with the hand

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 Gary Larson (61)

37 comments on “ST 2601 (Hints)

  1. Another gentle but excellent offering from Virgilus again this Sunday – thank you to him. Like gnomey, I am a fan of 19d. Thanks to BD too.

  2. Me too 19d favourite clue :-) got stuck on top R/H corner today though, just one thing, 21a, thought that ‘accepted’ would be two letter then apostrophe then third letter??

    1. Chambers has 21 without the apostrophe. It has capitalised the first two letters and lower cased the last two.

  3. I am afraid 5d has got me beat, if there is anyone with a sense of pity on this Sunday morn, please take it out on me. Fellow Cruciverbalists I beg of you.
    Other than that a very nice puzzle.
    Thanks to B Dave and the Setter woof woof

  4. The Gnomethang strikes again, damn and blast, Thanks for all possible and future help on this one but not required.

  5. A very enjoyable and not too difficult puzzle, personal favourite was 19d. Thanks to Virgilus and to BD.

  6. Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle, and to BD.
    Last one in was 22a, one of those 4 letter ones!… I had the correct answer, but did confirm I was correct by entering it onto the telegraph online site.

  7. The Sunday puzzle never disappoints! I always look for the hidden clues from Virgilius, so my favourite today is 24a as it took me so long to find it!

  8. Glad you lot thought it was easy, personally I think it’s very tricky! More not done than done at the moment. Going to have to have some lunch then think again. Thx for the clues, most of them have helped a lot although I still don’t understand 17a or 19d. Is it me or is today’s quite a literature biased offering?

    1. OK I was wrong, the application of sustenance (and a glass of vino collapso!) has revealed all and I have to agree it is a nice offering. Not sure I fully understand all the clues/answers but nothing new there :-). For instance I see the last 4 letters in 14a mean fleet and the second letter as an abbreviation but where does the first letter come in? Thx to the setter for getting my little grey cells working.

        1. Ah, now I see! Getting my fleets mixed up, thought the last but meant fleet rather than the first letter and the end. Thx, I knew there would be a logical answer somewhere!

  9. 19d – I’ve never composed a cryptic clue, so it may be out of order to criticise Virgilius. But, why is “author” in the singular? The plural gives IMHO a better surface reading. (Guess I’m missing the point – as usual). Red face in advance! :oops:

    1. Because the four names together are the answer singular Franco not plural at least that’s how I see it

    2. Check the definition which is “It’s rewarding for author”. The subsidiary indication (wordplay) ‘such as James,
      Henry or Lear, Edward’. The setter has really alluded to four kings and noticed that they are all named in Henry James and Edward Lear (as first names and also surnames) but to be fair to the solver Mr Greer has reversed them and added the comma to make the point that each of the four words are a king.
      I’ll get me coat!

  10. I enjoyed today’s crossword. 19d was in my humble ………a cracker. 9a a touch contrived. Shouldn’t 1a have been singular in the last word of the clue?

    Mem working in the library today ( until manchester pulls the plug at the end of the month on their busiest day)
    I’ve got this lump of lamb to roast which has bones sticking out on three sides, hopefully the Sangre de toro will compensate.

    Hasta passado el rabo el toro es tambien el toro as we say in Cheadle Hulme.



    1. Dennis,

      You’ve truncated your handle, so your comment needed moderation.

      6d Start including broadcast by monarch in place of entertainment (10)
      You want a place of entertainment. Put a verb meaning to start up or establish around a verb meaning to broadcast and the initials of a monarch (the UK has had six with these initials so far).

      1. Gazza,

        I note your comment to Dennis which occurred straight after me. I only wish to point out that we are two different wallahs.

        Nice to meet you Dennis (You probably get addressed rather less than me as “Denise”



        1. I was aware of the difference, Denis. Dennis (with double “nn”) has left comments in the past as Dennis Brian Best.

    2. 12a Someone with phoney complaints, type who hangs around with graduate (10)
      Someone who hangs around or loiters is placed after an arts graduate to make someone who feigns illness.

  11. For some reason, 5d eluded me. Despite having all the checking letters my brain just wouldn’t click to it. Then, a moment ago, I decided to bite the bullet. I picked up my iPad to post an enquiry and immediately saw the answer. Truly a Gnomethang moment!

    Favourites were 12a, 5d (because!), 8d (kept thinking ‘HUMID’) and, of course 19d. I didn’t like 9a (too contrived) and, perversely, 5d (because!).

  12. Only just got here – done crossword in between weeding, dog walking and looking after my Mum. Liked 12 and 17a and 7d. Best of all, for me anyway, was 2d. With thanks to Virgilius and BD. Sleep well all.

  13. Gentle? I’m obviously having a ‘slow’ day…. found it quite tricky, and then got completely stuck on the top right corner.

    Compliments to the setter, because all the clues that I struggled with I enjoyed and appreciated the excellent wordplay and clever set-ups. A great puzzle.

    Favourite was 19d.

    Thanks to BD as well.


  14. Appear to be about a day behind…too much fishing/work.
    Managed a slow finish to this but thinbk I got there in the end. However I cannot work out the word play for 15a. I have the answer as an isolated position as in Robinso Crusoe can see where the usual editor abbrev comes in.. But word play for distress signal is not clear in the sense of the clue (to me at least).

    1. If you look the word you have before the editor abbreviation in the dictionary, all should become clear.

    2. Nigel

      You’ve done all the hard work! Look up the first 6 letters of your answer and you will find that it is “a detonating firework, especially one used as a distress signal”

      1. One or other of us should get out more! I am off to bed now. Goodnight anyone who’s still there.

    3. Hi Nigel
      The distress signal is something a beleagured yacht may put up, or is used to call a lifeboat crew to action. Follow with the usual editor and you’ll get ‘put in isolated position’.
      Hope this helps as I may be in the naughty corner tomorrow morning!

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