ST 2609 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2609 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Thanks once again to Phil McNeill for providing today’s puzzle, which can be downloaded from the previous post.

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           Put a damper on party craze around university (10)
A verb meaning to put a damper on is built from a party (5) and a craze around U(niversity)

15a         Newspaper articles about British lie getting heated, naturally (8)
Start with a national newspaper and the indefinite and defite articles then insert B(ritish) to get a verb meaning to lie on a beach getting heated, naturally

25a         More imposing regal father and daughter (7)
This adjective meaning more imposing is created by putting the cyphers for the Queen’s father and her own cypher around the AND from the clue

27a         Bitterness from soldiers dispatched again ahead of time (10)
This bitterness is derived from some soldiers (3) preceded by a verb meaning dispatched again and followed by T(ime)


1d           Fool’s intelligence (4)
A double definition – a fool and intelligence or information

5d           Splendid stuff, contents of house (8)
An adjective meaning splendid is a charade of a word meaning to stuff with food and the middle letters (contents) of hOUSe

11d         Mess is something setter might make a meal of (4,9)
This mess could be the first meal of the day for the family pet

23d         Don’t run very fast for a left-winger (4)
Another double definition – a pace faster than walking and a follower of Lev Davidovich Bronstein

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 Sharon Osbourne (59)



  1. crypticsue
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    A lovely straightforward start to Sunday morning – it didn’t take me long apart from the time I spent staring and muttering at 15a before a very large penny clanged to the floor. Thank you to Virgilius once again. My top favourite is 8d.

  2. Franco
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Splendid stuff! Particularly liked 7d.

    I’ve looked for a theme, hidden message, If it’s there I’ll be ………ed.

    • Franco
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Ps. 10a – is this use of “support” common knowledge? New to me – or have I completely misunderstood the clue?

      • Kath
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        I’d assumed that the first two and last two letters of the answer were the “angry words” and that the middle three reversed were the support ie help. Maybe I’m wrong.

        • Franco
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Oh Dear! I went for the first letter and the last 3 for “angry words”. Then I was left with the “International Development Association”.

          • Kath
            Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            So pleased that I have got at least SOMETHING right today even though your IDA had never occurred to me ..

  3. Brian
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Quite enjoyable but I still don’t see the connection of the last five letters with British and lie, the first three presumably being that picture book that calls itself a newspaper in 15a. Best clue for me was 26a, very clever. Thx to Virgilus for an amusing Sunday puzzle. Sorry BD I thought your hints were more cryptic than the original clues :-)

    • gazza
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      15a Newspaper articles about British lie getting heated, naturally (8)
      The definition is: Lie getting heated naturally.

  4. Kath
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Couldn’t do this at all to begin with and then it all started to fall into place, all apart from 18d which I have done but can’t explain properly. In fact I think the proverbials are in a terrible twist with this one. However I look at it I seem to have a spare bit somewhere. The answer I have certainly means weights, as in the kind one might use in a gym (that’s if one went to a gym!) I can find a fish which is the first four letters. I can find another fish which is the first six letters. Or are the first three letters the “rod” from the clue in which case where do the last four letters come from? Oh dear – am I being dim? :sad: Just can’t sort it out at all.
    Anyway, enough. I liked 15, 19 and 22a and 3, 8 and 11d. With thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

    • gazza
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      For 18d you want the 6-letter fish followed by the abbreviation for line. The rest of the clue is the definition.

      • Kath
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza – however couldn’t I see that? Was right the first time – being dim!

    • Franco
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Kath, 18d – Never been fishing, but I think the fish is the first six letters, then an abbreviation for Line (is that Kosher). Then go off to the gym!

  5. upthecreek
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I don’t normally bother with Sunday’s puzzle as its too much trouble trying to find it amongst all the other stuff. However, I came across it today but its run-of-the-mill fare saved by the excellent 15a. Still, there should be loads of postal entries.

  6. Addicted
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Finished it solo and before lunch – unheard of for me with a Sunday. I repeat my Saturday comment – either I’m getting better or this w/ends puzzles were easier? The latter, I somehow fear!! Re 11d – I don’t know that particular meal in this connection – I’ve always used the evening 6-letter meal myself! Is it a regional thing? agree 15a took a while.Very enjoyable – thanks to setter for a fun Sunday.

    • Kath
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      I’ve also heard the six letter evening meal more commonly than the nine letter morning one in 11d. Maybe it is regional.

      • Franco
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        11d – Doesn’t the six letter evening meal version mean “very well dressed up”?

        What do canines have for supper?

        • Franco
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          After a bit of research via Google:-

          The dinner version: wearing clothes which make you look silly when you have tried to dress for a formal occasion.

          • Addicted
            Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the research Franco – but – and I am open to criticism – coudn’t that also mean that you look a “mess”?? Have to admit that there is a very common phrase: “all dressed up like a ***’* ******. Interesting debate – any other inputs?

          • Kath
            Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            OK – so you look a complete mess! I think it’s fair enough, don’t you? Haven’t actually looked up either version but I think it’s pretty much the same thing.

  7. Derek
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius -many thanks!
    Faves : 12a, 15a, 25a, 26a, 3d, 8d, 11d & 18d.

    Summer has definitely departed here in NL – now back to cool, wet autumn weather. I expect that the central heating will be coming on soon!

    • Nora
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Wow, central heating. I remember that. We don’t have it in our concrete box of a house in Spain, built for summer,so absolutely freezing in winter – reminds me of childhood days in the north of England, but at least here we don’t get Jack Frost making patterns on the windows.

      • Kath
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        No heating on here yet although I do confess to having lit a wood fire yesterday and the day before – had visitors for the weekend and it was a bit chilly – it all looks so much more welcoming and comfortable when the fire is lit.

  8. Jezza
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I made hard work of this today, but it was as enjoyable as always.
    I spent ages trying to explain 25a (my favourite clue) – the ‘daughter’ bit totally threw me.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

    • Kath
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that I’ve ever heard you say that you found a crossword hard before …..

  9. Nora
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword, with the satisfaction enhanced by the PDFs – it was brilliant to have these both neatly printed on one page – saving paper, ink, the planet.

    I’m off tomorrow for a few days in northern Spain, so hasta sábado a todos, and happy crosswording.

  10. TimCypher
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Finally finished this one – about average difficulty for a Virgillius, I thought.
    I too spent ages staring at 15a – the checking letters confirmed a definite article at the end of the word, but I was convinced the definition was a newspaper I’d never heard of, as ‘FT’ didn’t seem a likely beginning to the word. Then I thought of another notorious alternative and the penny dropped.
    Last two in were 18d (another fish to add to my growing list), then 17a, which became obvious through the checking letters.
    Good stuff anyway – I smiled at 2d and 26a – 7d and 8d were clever too! :)