ST 2611 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2611 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2611 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Today’s puzzle 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           Preserving material to create a short piece of poetry (8)
This material used for preserving biological specimens is derived from a word meaning to create, A from the clue and a piece of poetry without its final E (short)

11a         Girl’s payments, of a kind, covering old-time musical entertainment (12)
Start with the shortened form of a girl’s name and the ‘S then add methods of paying bills that are being phased out and finally insert O(ld) and T(ime) to get these  clubs where music for dancing is provided by records

20a         Drink passed around a camp on the veldt (6)
Put an alcoholic beverage, the one that is only fit to be drunk with curry, around A to get a camp on the South African veldt

26a         Opposed to something it is added to (4)
This colloquial word meaning opposed to is, if split (1,3), something that IT(alian vermouth) could be added to

28a         Fine man on board performing brain operations (8)
A charade of a word meaning fine or slender and a chessman gives a verb meaning performing brain operations


2d           Quick wit aboard English vessel (3-5)
This quick wit is a charade of a two-letter word meaning aboard, E(nglish) and a seagoing vessel

3d           Part of pop song about western fighter (12)
The section occurring two-thirds of the way through a conventionally structured pop song (6,5) is placed around W(estern) to get a fighter

8d           Explanatory text a writer finally got into magazine (8)
This explanatory text in a book is derived by putting A from the clue and the final letter of writeR inside a type of magazine

17d         Artist exhibited in opening Italian work of art (8)
Put the usual two-letter abbreviation of for an artist between an opening in the side of a ship and IT(alian) to get a work of art

25d         Member of family I released from a group of soldiers (4)
To get this member of the family, drop (released) the I from A and a small group of soldiers

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 Edison Arantes do Nascimento aka Pelé (71)

29 comments on “ST 2611 (Hints)

  1. Not easy, but satisfying to get to the finish, especially after struggling long and hard with 11a, surprising since I mis-spent large chunks of my youth in such establishments.

    Favourite clues 9 and 28a.

  2. Good morning Dave, once again I enjoyed this one but contrary to what scrabo said yesterday, not because I found it easy, in fact I thought it at least 3* today, but just because I did enjoy it, at first I thought I wouldn’t even get one but after a lot of perservation and ‘my usual help’ I am thrilled to say I finished it without the hints, although I needed some of the explainations, so thanks for that Dave, several I thought were really clever today, fav clues, 19d, 27a, 4d, 28a but lots of others too, no real quibbles or dislikes today, a grey day but dry so far here today, at last the rugby is over, not quite the win New Zealand expected, maybe they need to borrow a kicker off Wales (not) :-) Hard luck today for France, I was split here, it always seems better to have gone out to the eventual winners although you don’t really want the team that put you out to win, if that makes any sense!! Good luck everyone, tough to start but very ‘workable’ IMHO :-D

    1. Oh well done Mary, I have 5 still to do. It is pouring down, blowing a gale and I am loving playing catch up on recorded tv and pondering an enjoyable crossword by the fire. 9a is a lovely clue.

  3. Superb stuff as ever from the Sunday Maestro. 24d just edged it into 3* difficulty for me – took me ages to see it. My top favourite of many good clues is 26a and Mr CS (I’m gradually converting him to cryptics) thought 28a was very clever too when I explained it. Thanks to Virgilius and BD too.

    Lovely and sunny here in East Kent today.

  4. The usual top quality stuff from Virgilius. Thanks to him, and to BD.
    Off to Paris later for a few days – a break from crosswords until Thursday!

  5. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this one at all – having read through all the clues fairly systematically about three times had still only got about eight answers! Oh dear! Went up the garden for a couple of hours, came in and had another go and suddenly realised that I only had about four blanks left and then it all fell into place. Have only just caught onto why 18a is what it is – always forget about that kind of “hear”. 24d was last one and 9a fooled me for a long time – completely missed the anagram indicator and kept trying to make the second word “door” even though I knew it wasn’t. I didn’t know the word at 20a – Sunday is the day when I’m most likely to come across a word that is completely new to me. I enjoyed this very much. Best clues today, for me, include 11, 23 and 28a and 2, 6, 16 and 22d. With thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.

    1. 18a – think I have it- but why??? If you’ve forgotten,I don’t think I’ve ever known! Help!

  6. A rather more difficult puzzle this Sunday to get started on but nevertheless very satisfying to finish – probably too much G&T consumed in the process!
    Faves : 1a, 15a, 20a, 26a (wartime memories – only T now), 2d, 4d, 6d & 12d.

    Weather still magnificent here in NL – November in a week’s time – unbelievable!
    Excellent BBC2 programme yesterday on the Spitfire.

  7. More of a struggle than usual for a Sunday. The last 3 “wee stinkers” that caused me problems turned out to be my favourites: 10a, 24d and 26a.

    26a held me up as I originally entered “Ante” – as in “Up the Ante”. (confused by “anti” and “ante”). Thanks to Virgilius & BD!

    (It’s definitely too much of a challenge for me to attempt the Cryptic at the same time as watching the Rugby – Unlucky La France!)

      1. 24d In certain states, minimal change in concentration (4)
        The smallest coin in some countries is hidden in the clue.

        1. Got it – but honestly (IMHO) that’s just weird. Don’t like it! But thank you – have now filled in all the blanks.

  8. First time I have tried the Sunday Cryptic and still have 7 clues to go. Dave’s hints helped me with a couple. Beautiful warm day in Chicago and I have to say it “Go Bears” tonight.

    1. I think the Sunday cryptic is usually a fairly tricky one – if you’ve never tried before and only have 7 clues left, in my opinion, you’re doing really well. If you get completely stuck and decide to give in you only have to say which clues you can’t do and someone will help.

      1. Thanks Kath, I did manage to finish with a couple of letter hints, took me a long time, but I will keep that in mind for the future.

  9. Very quiet here today – where is everyone? Have spent day doing more “jungle warfare” – about to have supper and wine and watch the dancing. :smile:

    1. In hibernation, that’s where some of us are. Didn’t even get the crossword finished, well not yet. A day dedicated to fire and telly and hope to get back to my own jungle warfare tomorrow post crossword of course.

      1. Hmmm – if the weather was really that awful I would hibernate too, but it’s not, so no excuse – damn and blast!! Yet more jungle warfare tomorrow – at the moment the jungle is definitely winning! :sad:

  10. Found this really difficult… I think it was me not being on the right wavelength though. Ended up guessing a lot of solutions which turned out to be right but I still can’t see why. Looking forward to the full review for explanations.

    1. I thought it was quite tough too – ended up getting quite a few without really understanding why and then the light suddenly dawned – don’t give up!! :smile:

  11. Agree with Kath – really tough and I thought a bit too obscure, even for a Sunday. Thought 3d was exceptionally awful even though I eventually got it – who on earth has heard of “that part of a pop song”?? Obviously a lot of you other than me! (Thank heaven for my Seiko)

  12. I found this one nigh impossible, only managing to get 3 clues before having to succumb to hints and tips

    still to finish

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