ST 2613 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2613 (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           Ultimately, stormy sea’s turned back fleet (6)
Take the final letter (ultimately) of stormY and a poetic word for the sea thenreverse the lot (turned back) to get an adjective meaning fleet or fast

14a         Some sandwiches served that mate can finish on board (5)
… a puzzle from Virgilius wouldn’t be complete without a hidden answer!

25a         Horses from West and East come to this woman’s centre (7)
Combine a  a small horse of a hardy breed originally from North Africa (4) with the reversal (from the east) of one from a breed popular for its grace and speed (4), both sharing the same letter at the middle of this woman’s name

26a         Follow one side of serious conversation (5)
A word meaning to follow or pursue is created by taking one side or the other of SeriouS and adding a conversation

29a       Approved book lady read, skipping odd bits (6)
This colloquial word meaning approved or authorized comes from the even letters (skipping odd bits) of three of the words in the clue


1d            Take off in a couple of vehicles heading north on time (8)
A verb meaning to take off in mathematics is created by reversing (heading north) two different vehicles and putting each of them on T(ime)

3d           Rejection as result of being caught out, for example (9)
This rejection is also a way of being given out in cricket (caught out, for example)

9d           End of major war game that one may come across in London (8,6)
The battle that marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars followed by a card game gives a London landmark that can be used to cross the Thames

21d         Please poet, holding up well (7)
A word meaning to please is created by putting a word meaning well or able reversed (up) inside the poet famous for his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

24d         Eastern state’s capital has also taken over south-eastern state (5)
The capital of a state in east Asia is derived by putting a word meaning also around the zip code for a state in the East Central areas of the USA – my geography is not that good, but I can’t see how this state could be described as being in the south east

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 Sally Field (65)


  1. Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle. Took a bike ride in between to finish it off. Mrs Nubian now has a bike so my days of drifting along in my own little word are a thing of the past. I keep hearing “I need to stop to blow my nose” or ” clean my glasses” or “this seats not right”. What have I done ?
    Thanks for the tips B Dave.

    • Scrabo
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      I find it best to cycle separately. Nothing nicer than trundling along at my own pace with noone to query why I am stopping here or turning there and weather this weekend has been great for that.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable as ever – thanks to Virgilius for the crossword and to BD for the hints.

  3. Jezza
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    A perfect puzzle for a Sunday. Thanks to Virgilius for the usual quality crossword, and to BD.

  4. Tantalus
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Zip codes are all 5 numerical digits. Abbreviation would NE a better description. And US geography is not very consistent. Colorado is in the “Mid West”.

  5. Derek
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Quickly solved this one from Virgilius : faves were 12a, 15a, 18a, 23a, 25a, 5d, 8d, 16d,19d & 24d.

    Weather in NL still remarkably mild for November. The trees are shedding golden-brown leaves like rain!

  6. Kath
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Not too tricky today although a few down in the bottom half that I can’t quite explain. One of them was 24d which BD’s hint seems to have sorted out – just didn’t think that this state was SE either which made me think I could be totally wrong. The others that I’m a bit doubtful about are 25a – I have a woman’s name as the answer but don’t see where it comes from – can find a horse (but not horseS) going the wrong way as the last four letters …… ? oh dear!! Not sure where the first letter of 26a comes from and the answer that I’ve got for 28a is certainly a “business manoeuvre” but can’t make any sense of the rest of the clue. Any explanations would be much appreciated. With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    • Franco
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      25a – I also have a woman’s name as the solution. The first 4 letters (from the West) provide a breed of horse that I have never heard of. The last 4 letters, when reversed (from the east), provide a more commonly known breed of horse. This was my last one in!

      • Tantalus
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        This state is part of the “East South Central Region” of the US. No wonder most yanks think Amsterdam is in France!

        • Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          I put the map there so that readers can make up their own minds!

          • Dolbster
            Posted November 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            It’s sometimes worth remembering the Mason Dixon line, which defined the North South divide in the US. I think it cut across Pennsylvania?

      • Franco
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        25a – Oops! We must in future read BD’s hints – his explanation is far better than mine.

        • Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          I added that at almost the same time that you posted your comment!

          • Franco
            Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

            Thank God for that! I hate Lemon Drizzle Cake!

            • crypticsue
              Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

              Mr CS says it is the best lemon drizzle cake I ever made (and I have made a few!)

          • Kath
            Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            Oh good – so the hint was put there after I read them for the first time – thought that I was either going blind or losing my marbles!! :smile:

        • Kath
          Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          I did read BD’s hints – obviously missed the one for 25a – thanks to Franco and BD.

    • gazza
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      28a Businees manoeuvre, reason for director to demand cut? (8)
      This business manoeuvre if split (4,4) describes the reason for a film director to say “cut”.

      • Kath
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza – how did I miss that?

  7. Kath
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    PS Loved 5 and 9d.

  8. crypticsue
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Lovely stuff from Virigilius once again. My favourites are either those that made me smile or made me think! Thanks to him and BD too.

  9. Tantalus
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Mrs T is threatening divorce if I can’t help her on 21d.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      THe definition is please. Reverse a word meaing well as in havng a high level of stamina or athletic strength) into the name of the poet who wrote Elegy in a Country Churchyard. (As I said above, the lemon drizzle cake is so good, I don’t mind if I am giving too much away here as an extra piece would be nice)

    • Tantalus
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      The papers came through so I looking a new Mrs T.

      • Tantalus
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Can’t type for laughing. Me velly sorry.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        I was hoping my hint would help as I have enough troubles without contemplating b eing the new Mrs T :D

  10. pommers
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    A fine Sunday puzzle completed over lunch! 4a seemed very appropriate as we were having crumpets and eggs!

    Don’t really see where the central 4 letters of 17d come from so any hint would be welcome.

    Many nice clue today but I did like 10a, 5d and 9d.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD (I’m making no comment about where ******** might be located!).

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      the central 4 letters of 17d are a word meaning some (as in a bit of )

      • pommers
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink


    • Franco
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Is that a traditional Spanish Sunday Lunch? – you may soon be having a dessert for revealing the S.E (?) state in the USA.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t notice that when I replied to his comment. Don’t think there will be any cake left by the time he has come from Spain to Kent.

      • pommers
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Can’t go to the naughty step as I’m too busy occupying the stupid step, where cake isn’t allowed! Have to get my dunce cap out again! Don’t know what’s wrong with me this week!

    • Tantalus
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Very appropriate, we were having Irish black pudding. Thanks to bd for the guidance and to cryptic sue for trying to save the marriage.

    • pommers
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      P.S. Nice picture of my avatar’s cousin at 1a!

  11. Jezza
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    With a couple of the longer clues in place, I thought there might have been a train station theme, but I only managed to find a reference to one more.

  12. Addicted
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Finally got there – apart from one. Some went in quickly, some I struggled with and found SW corner most troublesome, so some help with 23a would be greatly appreciated!

  13. pommers
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Addicted
    A famous English author is a word for’ to bring up children’ placed around (without) R(eading).

    • Addicted
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Don’t know what happened there?? Anyway, I repeat – thank you Pommers, much obliged! Can now put the darned paper away.

  14. pommers
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s proving very uncomfortable sitting with one cheek on the naughty step and one on the stupid step! Can I go home for dinner now please?

  15. NickCS
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed that one. Feeling abashed about the south-eastern state zipcode though! I figured it was the old capital, in another state, (the five letters rearranged!), in the south-east, which has been taken over by the new one…

    Well, give me a break – I got the right answer didn’t I?

    9d was superb. 10a was neat too. 15a would have been good, except my partner got it first, so it was probably too easy.

    (There’s a smiley there too, ladies.)

    Liked 4a, but why on earth did it take so long to see the anag? I knew it was there, but neither of us could see it…Need to get the Scrabble out.

  16. Posted November 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    THe usual lovely puzzle from Virgilius today. Judging ffrom the solving time it was on the easier end of the scale.

    Sorry for the absence but I spent Friday night in hospital having had a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop in the evening. Three cauterisations later and I am fine but was a bit woolly yesterday. Good news is that a) I have a cold but cant blow my nose and b) it is nowt to do with blood pressure – just a weak vessel that finally went tilt.

    Thanks to BD and Virgilius!

    • Kath
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Oh you poor thing – I’m not surprised that you were a bit woolly yesterday. Do hope that you feel properly better soon – just take it easy (and DON’T blow your nose!!) :smile:

      • Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kath – so fwr I have resisted the temptation (on both counts). Luckily I can snore on my own and I have two days of training so not heavy duties!
        Thanks for the concern!

  17. Nora
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting quite disheartened as last Wednesday was the last time I completed a puzzle. Are the brain cells deteriorating or am I just going through a phase?

    • Kath
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Nora – tomorrow is the beginning of another week …. ! :smile: I’m sure that “the little grey cells” are absolutely fine and that it’s just a phase.

    • Kathryn
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure it’s just a phase… I look forward to Monday as that’s usually when I have more success!

    • Addicted
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Nora – I’m in the same place as you! Personally, I think the puzzles are getting more difficuat – can hardly finish one now without my “electronic” help or the hints! Or maybe it’s just that we’re getting a bit older and not used to all these new twists like capital letters, and back-to-front, and odds or evens letters? I dunno! But keep at it – it keeps the little grey cells working and that has to be a good thing – yes?! (I just HATE the cricket clues!!!!)

      • Nora
        Posted November 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Funnily enough, I hate cricket, but always seem to be able to get the cricket clues, probably because Señor Nora listens to the commentary, so I’ve absorbed the ridiculous terminology.

        It’s reassuring that I’m not alone in finding recent crosswords difficult. Thank you all for your kind words (however, as I write this reply, it’s Monday, and I struggled again. Roll on Tuesday!

  18. Ian
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Found this quite tough andstill don’t understand why 12a is what it is. Help appreciated.

    • Addicted
      Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ian – neither did I, but I think it’s correct – would also love an explanation as to the word play??

    • Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      12 As standard practice, rake in money? Just the opposite (7)
      Ian, The definition is ‘As standard practice’. You then need two words, one for a Rake, Lothario or womaniser and the other a slang word for money (like brass!). The suggestion from the clue initally is that the former goes inside the latter but ‘just the opposite’ tells you to put the slang money inside the womaniser.
      Hope that helps!

      • Ian
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        hmmm, heard of brass but not the other metal. Clever clue then – too clever for me. Thanks ‘gnomey’.

      • Addicted
        Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gnomethang – I got the “rake” bit but I must be very stupid or something, because I’ve never heard that particular metal as slang for money – “brass”, yes but *** ? No. So where have I been all these years????

        • Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          They are all good crosswordland synonyms that should be filed away!

          • Addicted
            Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            Will do – trouble is, my mental filing cabinet is getting a bit full up! Dont ask me what I did yesterday.

  19. Heno
    Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & Big Dave. I enjoyed this one, used a couple of hints, but haven’t quite finished it. Favourite was 13a. Was 19d a hidden word clue ?

    • Posted November 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Evening Heno. Indeed it is a hidden word (and a jolly good one as well!)