ST 2605 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2605 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult 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 Accompany Conservative inside to use female charms (7)
Take a verb meaning to accompany (2,4) and insert C(onservative) to get a word meaning to use female charms to cast a spell

5a In university, splitting part of our capital (7)
The definition here is in or fashionable – put U(niversity) inside (splitting)  an area of the East End of London in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (part of our capital)

19a Agreeing to join old man on board (5)
This clunky word meaning agreeing is a charade of O(ld) and a man on the chess board

27a Struck by glove, needing second, for a start (7)
A word meaning struck by or enamoured is derived from a child’s glove preceded by () S(econd) – the answer to this clue is needed in order to solve 3 down!

28a Fellow concealing eccentric plan for use of firearms (7)
Start with a fellow and then insert (concealing) an anagram (eccentric) of PLAN to get the use of firearms


1d Good suit squeezing opponents at bridge (7)
To get a good or advantage put a word meaning to be suitable for around (squeezing) two opponents at bridge (North or South with East or West)

3d Light burden for one who’s 27 (5)
This light is carried, metaphorically, by someone who is 27 across

7d Finishes off last call at famous European house (2,5)
Remove the final letters (finishes) from three of the words in the clue, rearrange them as (2,5) and the result is a famous Italian Opera House

16d Ring daughter amidst shouting, making offpeak call (9)
… the peaks from which these calls are traditionally made are in Switzerland – put a ring-shaped letter and D(aughter) inside (amidst) shouting

21d Site for hangings largely demolished (7)
This site for hanging pictures is an anagram (demolished) of LARGELY

24d One’s opposite number on watch (5)
Easy when you know how! – which number is opposite one on a wristwatch

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 Harry Connick, Jr. (44)



  1. mary
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Good morning Dave have been doing the crossword and watching the rugby, Wales doing OK so far! I thought this was quite hard today and I had to work at most of the clues, but I really enjoyed it, with some really clever clues, however I would not call 25a an author popular with children???? loads of clues I liked 8d, 15a, 16d, to name but a few, I got 5a, but didn’t really know why until I read your explaination, needless to say once again I have not heard of this area of London

  2. Jezza
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for the normal top quality Sunday puzzle, and to BD for the hints.
    Favourite clue 16d, last one in, 10a. I always manage to spell 25a incorrectly, despite seeing it somewhere else this week!

  3. Posted September 11, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle as we have come to expect from Virgilius. Favourites were 6d, 16d and 27a – the latter in particular for the diversion in the surface reading of a duella. I think I have seen ‘offpeak call’ before but nevertheless it made me laugh.
    Many thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  4. crypticsue
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    As everyone else has said before me, excellent Sunday puzzle as usual from Virgilius. THe only one that held me up was 10a and now I can’t really see why it did. Lucky we all that that spelling lesson for 25a yesterday, wasn’t it? Thanks to BD and to Virgilius – I have searched high and low and can’t see a NINA or a theme in this one, but am ready to be proved wrong :)

    • mary
      Posted September 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      The only thing I noticed Sue was that there are lots of ‘v’s and ‘y’s

  5. Kate
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyes this a lot even if I did leed a nudge from BD for 5a. Favourite clues were 15a and 18d. Lovely start to a quiet Sunday. thanks BD and enjoy the rest of the weekend eveyone – don’t get blown away!

  6. Nubian
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle today. Thanks to B Dave and to Virgilius but not The Telegrapg Puzzle on line site. I know it is normally taboo to mention time taken to do a crossword and so I will surfice by saying that I have waited more than twenty minutes for the site to accept the completed puzzle.
    This makes a complete farce of the so called ‘Leader Board’ which if anyone other than Robr had interest in it would be unforgiveable. Thankfully they don’t give prizes for time to complete.

  7. Kath
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one very much – have done it in “dribs and drabs” as trying to do useful stuff in the garden but keep having to come in to dodge enormous rain drops. Last ones for me were 17a and 18d. Is 18d, apart from the composer, also a footballer – I’m assuming that he is but, if not, where does the “top league” bit fit in? Or am I just being dim again? Favourite clues today include 1, 11, ….. oh dear – actually too many to write them all down. Perhaps I liked 24d best of all.
    With thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.

    • gazza
      Posted September 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that 18d is a footballer (at least not a famous one). I see it as a cryptic definition with “in top league”, scorer and “every season” trying to make you think of a footballer.

      • Kath
        Posted September 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza – that’s how easily I’m fooled! Got the cryptic definition bits about the “scorer” and the “seasons” but wondered if I was missing something about the “top league”.

  8. Don Pedro
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable and easier than I expect the ST to be but 19a? Really??

  9. Nora
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Too many good clues today to pick a favourite. It’s nice to do a puzzle that raises so many smiles.

  10. Franco
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    20d – I’ve solved it but cannot explain it – help, please!

    To Mary & Gazza & the rest of Wales – Your Boys did you proud – so very unlucky!

    • mary
      Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Hi Franco, yes they did well, but not good enough unfortunately which puts pressure on them to win their next match!

      20d As I see it the definition is First, I suppose to subscribe means to write underneath literally, so if you sign underneath your signature with the answer, oh dear I am getting mixed up here, maybe it’s a kind of all in one clue, ……….handing over to somebody wiser, help….

    • gazza
      Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      It was a very good game and Wales really deserved to win. It is ironic that England, Scotland and Ireland were all pretty poor and won, whereas Wales played very well and lost.

      20d is a double definition: a) first and b) to write the first letters of your name at the bottom of a document (subscribe means to write below).

      • mary
        Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        You put it so much better Gazza, thank you :-)

      • Franco
        Posted September 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza! Very difficult to explain! I normally put my “signature” at the bottom of a letter or document!

        PS! I thought that the Welsh penalty kick in the first half went well inside the posts! Must go to the opticians!

        (All this praise for the Welsh Rugby team comes very difficult from an Englishman!)

  11. Carrie
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Just done, but started late. Last two were 5d and 10a. Thought l knew 5d for a long time but could not make it fit the clue until l wrote it down DUH!!!

    Lots of smiles and Oh No! moments

    Thank you BD and setter

  12. Mr Tub
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Kicking myself so hard about 13a that my foot hurts. Many thanks for the hints today BD, they were much appreciated. I needed all the help I could get after a late night last night… 24d was probably my favourite. Thanks to the setter as well.

    • Posted September 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps it was the omission of the word former from the description of the has-been golf player, or maybe it was calling golf a sport!

      • Posted September 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Bit too harsh on the latter but I did consider the former!

        • Posted September 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

          I’m firmly in the Mark Twain camp!

          • Posted September 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

            I certainly spoil a few but aspire to greater things. Night!

  13. Derek
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I thought that this was a bit of lighter fare from Virgilius.
    Faves : 11a, 15a, 2d, 7d, 14d & 18d.

  14. Prolixic
    Posted September 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Sterling quality from Vigilius this week. Many thanks to him for getting the grey cells kick started today.

  15. wingnut
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I try not to give up and hang on to puzzles for weeks sometimes to get them finished. Anyway this only took 2 days with 10a being the last to go. Got yesterday’s to finish off now, then today’s!

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I used to do with Elgar toughies before (a) I discovered this blog and (b) realised that he had created them with the aim that people should be able to solve them so if I perservated I would get there in the end.