ST 2608 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2608 (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 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           For example, part of King Lear that’s liable to be censored (4-6,4)
Both King and Lear are examples  – they are not liable to be censored but others might well be

10a         Spanish painter and English composer ignoring a writer from Italy (2,5)
This Spanish painter is created by combining an English composer (or Toughie setter!) without (ignoring) the A and the Italian author of The Name of the Rose and then splitting the result as (2,5)

17a         Nice sweets containing first of ripe fruit (8)
Start with these sweethearts from Nice, or any other place in France, and insert the initial (first) letter of Ripe to get some fruit

27a         Leave old boys before match, as college’s organised, perhaps (14)
A charade of to leave, old boys and to match or agree gives the way a college, for example, might be organised


1d           Changing chef — it possibly provides opportunity for striver (8,6)
An anagram (possibly) of CHANGING CHEF IT gives an opportunity for a striver

3d           Dolly upset saintly patron, an acquaintance of my father? (5,6)
An anagram (upset) of DOLLY and the patron saint of England gives a former Prime Minister that knew my father, in the well-known ditty

4d           Pet at home getting light meal (6)
… a pet can mean an argument

8d           Protest on bay at being mistreated? (6,3,5)
An anagram (being mistreated) of PROTEST ON BAY AT gives a protest in the run-up to the American Revolution

25d         Raised final item on agenda? That’s dangerous for people in Amazon (3)
Reverse (raised in a down clue) the final item on an agenda to get a creature that is dangerous for people in the Amazon, and elsewhere in South America

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 Sting (60) and Don McLean (66)



  1. Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Another fine Sunday puzzle with the &Lit at 8d being my favourite. Thanks as always to Virgilius and to BD.

  2. Jezza
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Super crossword – favourites 15a, and 8d. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  3. Kate
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Surprisingly I got into this much more easily than yesterday’s whereas normally it’s the other way round. Favorites were 10a and 18d (I live in Spain and husband used to play sport related to 18). However I am completely stuck on 26a and 21d. I think I know 26 but then can’t make anything fit with 21. Can anyone give me a clue?

    • Kate
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      The law of Gnome has struck again, the lightbulb flashed and I have now finished. Many thanks to BD and to Virgilus for a great Sunday morning treat.

    • Kath
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I’ll have a go but bet someone gets there before me!!
      26a the definition is someone making a joke. You want a six letter word for someone placing a bet around the usual abbreviation for small.
      21d I think this one is brilliant! The definition is spot (ie zit rather than place) You want a four letter word for a large amount of money (or a large country house) around two letters for someone in the house – ie a politician.

      • pommers
        Posted October 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        And I’m near Alicante.

        • pommers
          Posted October 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          That seems to have gone in the wrong place!

    • Nora
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Where in Spain, Kate? I’m near Valencia

      • Don Pedro
        Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Y vivo en Malaga, and having paid my subscription, refuse to buy the DT at 3-4 times the UK price. So another weekend I am here fuming ‘cos they have yet to fix the &%[email protected]#¿¡ thing.

        • crypticsue
          Posted October 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          I have emailed you a pdf. Enjoy

        • pommers
          Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Hi Pedro
          If you get stuck just ask – there’s usually someone got in and has a pdf to mail you! If and when I get in (not today – I needed the gnome to the rescue) the first thing I do is make a pdf just in case!

          • Timcypher
            Posted October 3, 2011 at 3:25 am | Permalink

            I am also have geographical challenges today – if anyone could send a PDF, I’d be very grateful :)

  4. Kath
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I’ve enjoyed this one but am completely stuck on 15 and 19a and 13d. I have an idea for 15a but can’t explain it properly and the other two defeat me. I particularly liked 1, 11 (a similar kind of clue to one of last Sundays but can’t quite remember the whole thing) 17 and 23a and 2, 4, 6 and 18d. 21d made me laugh! With thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.
    Do hope that everyone is enjoying the sun. :smile:

    • gazza
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      19a Play bad shot or fail to respond as player, say (6)
      Play a bad shot (at the Crucible, perhaps) or forget your line (again possibly at the Crucible).

      • Kath
        Posted October 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza and Jezza – much appreciated. :smile:
        No excuses now for not going to do something useful in the garden – might have to be not too energetic – VERY hot.

    • Jezza
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      15a – This ‘kind of chair’ by a famous furniture maker, is a charade of ‘that woman’ and outside of that think what she might have done with it (appropriately used).

    • gazza
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      13d Puzzle impossible to disentangle? You can hack it! (7,4)
      This is a cryptic definition of a difficult, tangled problem which Alexander the Great allegedly solved by cutting through it with his sword.

  5. Pete
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Supposed to be basking in sunshine again today and the barbie is ready! It is raining so sat down with the crossword and thoroughly enjoyed it. Unusual because Sunday is usually a slow slog for me.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints.

    • Nora
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Lucky you have a barbie. My daughter went to Tesco in search of a disposable one, and they had none, which I put down to it already being Christmas in England.

  6. Kate
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    15 is another brilliant clue. Think of the Female possessive adjective and put it inside the past tense of what you would do with a chair to get the name of a style of furniture. Hope I haven’t broken the house rules explaining this!

    • gazza
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Your hint is fine, but it’s better to use the “Reply” button so that your answer appears in the same thread as the query (as I’ve done here).

      • Kate
        Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Gazza, I pressed the wrong button.

    • Kath
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Kate, too. I got myself barking up the wrong tree here – had the right answer but thought that the first three letters were “that woman” which left me in a bit of a muddle!

  7. abw
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius for an enjoyable puzzle and BD for the hints.

    Although I finished it today, I had a few answers I couldn’t quite explain. The hints helped me understand 17a, 4d (that’s a new meaning of “pet” for me) and 3d (I wasn’t aware of the song in 3d, but knew I had the right answer from the anagram/patron saint). That just left 14a and 13d.

    Now if you’ll permit a slight diversion, I’d like to tell you all about the stuffed bunny that used to sit in our server room at an IT company where I once worked. If a colleague had a programming problem they couldn’t solve and approached someone else for advice, the standard response would be “Have you asked the bunny?”. The perplexed co-worker would then be sent down to the server room to explain the problem to the bunny. Being an inanimate object, the bunny never offered much in the way of advice, but explaining the problem to the bunny was often enough to trigger the “aha!” moment and the problem would be solved.

    And so it was for me with 14a and 13d. I got half way through explaining what I didn’t understand about the clues and saw the light. 14a is a charade (not a longer word with “ie” removed as I had previously thought) and in 13d “hack” is a synonym for “cut” which makes perfect sense.

    Thanks for listening, Bunny. :-)

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Gnome’s Law works identically, abw. Just start typing an email to crypticsue or Prolixic (or anyone else for that matter!). The good thing is that you font even need to know the email address.

      • spindrift
        Posted October 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        ..and it is always recommended to wait a “gnomement” before pressing send…

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Works best with an email to the Gnome – I tried Prolixic when struggling with Elkamere and it didn’t work quite as well as an email to he after whom I named the law.

    • Kath
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Here we call it “Annie’s law”. Annie is our dog and I often chat to her about any problem clues on her afternoon walk. Being a collie she could probably do the whole thing more quickly than I can – it’s just that she finds it tricky to hold the pen! Also spend quite a few walks muttering the quickie pun over and over again if I’m having trouble getting it.

  8. crypticsue
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Super stuff once again from the Sunday Maestro – thank you to him and BD too. Lots of fun – I particularly smiled at 17a, 3d, and 6d but it would take too long to list all my favourites and I have a pan of runner bean chutney on the simmer and another of tomato ketchup boiling away so I can’t be away from the kitchen much longer or disaster will strike.

    • Kath
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Too hot to cook today – poor you being in a steamy kitchen – bet it smells nice though.

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        It’s a bit over-vinegary!! Next weekend I have been promised the joy of making green tomato chutney and also tomato soup for the freezer. Deep joy!

  9. pommers
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I know he’s usually thought of as Spanish but the artist in 10a was actually Greek, or more accurately Cretan! He didn’t move to Spain until he was in his mid-thirties.

    Enogh of that! This was a splendid puzzle with 8d my favourite by a long way.

    Thanks to Virgilius, Big Dave and especially the gnome for the pdf of the puzzle (couldn’t get into the site this morning).

  10. Kathryn
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Please help… I’ve got in a pickle with 2d and 14a. Any hints welcome.

    Fav clue 20d as I ask children in my class “what goes at the start of a sentence?” so often I feel like a broken record!

    • Kathryn
      Posted October 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Aha… sorted out mistake in 9a and then the other two fell into place!

  11. Derek
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    A superb puzzle from Virgilius!
    Very many good clues but for me the very best was 13d – Great like my grandson (Alex).