ST 2614 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2614 (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 Worst place, best time for rest of travellers (3,4)
A charade of a word, famously used by John McEnroe to describe tennis umpire Ted James, that means the worst place (4) with the best or highest gives a time for travellers to rest of for Formula 1™ drivers to change tyres

9a Piano isn’t commonly carried in carriage (7)
Another way of expressing the musical term piano is created by putting the common or informal version of “isn’t” inside a one-horse hackney carriage

12a Who, for example, joins a certain slacker in colony? (5)
A charade of the title accorded the famous time-traveller and a word meaning “a” or “single” gives a certain slacker in a colony of bees

19a I.e., what to do when coach lacks power? (2,3)
This alternative for “i.e.” or “for example” describes, when split (3,2), what to do to a coach which lacks power

28a Some medicine for man on board (7)
Chess is not the only popular game played on a chequered board!


1d Flier good for advertising (7)
Take a seabird with a brightly coloured parrot-like beak and add G(ood) to get this advertising

4d Put tar on ship for wages (3-6)
A charade of a verb meaning to smear a wooden boat with tar and a vessel plying regularly between one port and another gives wages or the envelope containing them – both Chambers and the ODE gives the enumeration as (3,6)

14d Remarkable events contributing to catastrophe no men anticipated (9)
The second hidden word in today’s puzzle – did you spot the other one?

17d President and scholar who, by definition, became famous (7)
A double definition – take your pick from the 17th or 36th President of the USA for the first definition, the second one is the scholar who is noted particularly for his Dictionary of the English Language (1755)

24d Source of wool a shopping centre turned up (5)
This pack animal of the camel family, valued for its soft woolly fleece (source of wool), is created by reversing (turned up in a down clue) A from the clue and an American-style shopping centre

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 Whoopi Goldberg (56)


  1. crypticsue
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Virigilius once again in fine form – lots to make me think ‘that’s the answer, but why’ but I think I have sorted it all out now. Quite a few favourites but I did like 19a and the clever 17d. Thanks to Virgilius and BD too.

    It is so long since we saw sun rather than dank mist, but I think that is what we have outside this morning. Makes a very nice change.

  2. Jezza
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    A lot easier to fill the grid than to explain some of the answers. I spent a while trying to explain why 19a was correct, which was really fairly obvious!
    Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle, and to BD for the hints.

  3. toadson
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Not finished yet, but the other ‘hidden’ answer is 22a I think.

    • mary
      Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      it is :-)

  4. Don Pedro
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    A clever puzzle. Got stuck on P for piano, and had to buy a hint for 20 down. Spent far too much time trying to force fit Jehovah into the bottom left. 3d is a new word for me. Then got distracted by Condi Rice on AM. Muchas Gracias to Virigilius and BD. (ps. Am I right in thinking that Xword geography has NE at Top Right?)

  5. mary
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Totally stuck on botton RH corner i.e. 19a, despite Daves hint 26a, 20d and 21d any help appreciated it’s a lovely sunny day and I need some fresh air!

    • toadson
      Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      21 – when you next go to bed?

      • mary
        Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Thanks toadson, but I think youll be sent to the naughty step by BD for giveing an alternate clue, but thanks all the same, v grateful :-) now I have 26a too just 2 to go

        • mary
          Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink


          • toadson
            Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            It will be my first visit – I’ll let you know if there’s any of that legendary cake there!

            • mary
              Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

              not sure if anyones baking today toadson, sue may be out enjoying the sunshine but there may be some left from last week, you haven’t been sent yet so don’t hurry over :-)

              • crypticsue
                Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

                Mince pies, flapjack baked this morning. Left over birthday pear/choc marble cake from yesterday. Also have to get lemon cake, stem ginger cake and cheesy bacon loaf out of the freezer to take to work tomorrow. Take your pick. Not that I am tempting anyone to break the rules you understand :D

                • mary
                  Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

                  You are a busy bee sue not like 12a!

                  • crypticsue
                    Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

                    The majority of people in our office bring in shop bought cakes on birthdays, but I am given strict instructions that mine have to be home made. I do like a nice bake, and I make sure there is some left at home for Mr CS and Son No 1 (Son No 2 is currently in Australia).

                • toadson
                  Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

                  An impressive selection indeed!

                • mary
                  Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

                  they all sound lovely, wouldn’t mind trying the cheesy bacon loaf, recipe??

                  • crypticsue
                    Posted November 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

                    You have mail :)

            • Nora
              Posted November 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

              I baked banana and almond buns this morning, but I know lemon drizzle is traditional, so maybe I’ll be sent to the naughty corner for suggesting an alternative bun!

        • Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          No, not this time! It’s the same meaning as in the clue so that’s ok.

          Sorry Toadson, no cake today!

          • mary
            Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

            I am dense today, even after getting the answer, I didn’t see it til you said that Dave, sorry toadson

            • crypticsue
              Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

              Have some cake Mary, it will improve the brain power!

              • mary
                Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

                all this talk of lovely cakes makes me want to bake and I don’t do baking purely because I will just eat it all :-D

  6. mary
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave and thanks for the hints, I needed a few today and still took ages to get 19a!!not sure I understand 2d or 13a? didn’t like 1d or 4d, 12a I thought was a worker bee and not a lazy one? fav clues 8d and 2d

    • mary
      Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      having googled that certain bee it seems he is the only male in a colony of lady bees and his sole role is reproduction, can’t see how he can be a slacker then, would have thought he’d ‘bee’ kept very busy :-D

    • Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      2d Four or six in test? It’s of little significance (7)
      Put the Roman numerals for four or six, but not both, inside a test to get an adjective meaning of little significance

      • mary
        Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        sorry Dave I meant 3d :-(

        • Prolixic
          Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          The definition here is a leaner. You need an abbreviation for an orgianisation of workers followed by a support used by someone who drives (in the sense of a game)

        • Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          That’s a crafty way of getting two hints for the price of one!

          • mary
            Posted November 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Me? As if! the cheek :-D

    • Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      13a Dance in a line in party of Americans (5)
      To get a lively dance in double time, put A and L(ine) inside the abbreviation for the nickname of the American Republican party

      • mary
        Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink


        • Prolixic
          Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          Posted on the wrong thread – now moved to the correct place!

          • mary
            Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

            Thanks prolixic :-)

            • mary
              Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

              never heard of that though

              • mary
                Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

                That’s half my problem, knowing what I’m looking for but not knowing the right words, I am obvioulsly no verbertuose enough!

  7. Prolixic
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Highly enjoyable crossword from Virgilius once again. Thanks to him to to BD for the notes.

  8. Franco
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Excellent (or do I mean Tough) puzzle from Virgilius today.

    16d raised a chuckle!
    14d – the master of the hidden clue at his best!

    The only one I don’t understand is 20d – I’ve got the “fish”, but I haven’t been invited to the “party”.

    As usual, the best Crossie of the week – Is that why we paper readers have to pay £2.00?

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Remove the three letters which mean big success from your fish and then think about the outside 4 letters and particular types of party members.

    • gazza
      Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      20d For “party, in part” read “faction of party”.
      I agree – best puzzle of the week.

      • Kath
        Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        And also, in my opinion anyway, by far the most difficult!

      • Franco
        Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza & CS for explaining 20d – I wondered why “in part” was there.

        While I’m here – was the “e.g.” necessary in 6d. I thought it would read more smoothly without – “Bad actors ruined (e.g.) TV show (9)

        • gazza
          Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          I agree that the “e.g.” detracts from the smoothness of the clue. Virgilius obviously wanted to indicate that TV show was just an example of the answer – perhaps using “possible” rather than “e.g.” would have improved the surface.

  9. Kath
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Have finished now but needed lots of hints and the answers to questions that have already been asked by others. I thought this was really difficult – ended up with only one gap (3d) but lots of answers that I couldn’t explain. I STILL can’t justify what I have for 11a – it fits with everything and is certainly a “plan for travel” but where it all comes from defeats me! I had never heard of the meanings of either of the two individual words that make up 4d – if that makes sense!! I particularly liked 15 and 17a and 2, 7 (although it took me ages to work out why) and 21d. Thanks to Virgilius and Big Dave.
    Lovely sunny day – back up the garden.

    • gazza
      Posted November 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      For 11a “I hear” is how a judge may describe his job.

      • Kath
        Posted November 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza but oh dear – now I KNOW I’m having a dim day! I still don’t understand and now I’m wondering how the judge got into it. In fact I’m beginning to think that my answer is wrong! :sad:

      • Kath
        Posted November 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Please ignore last comment – got half way up the garden and it came to me in a blinding flash of light! Thanks for your help. :smile:

        • Addicted
          Posted November 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Well, I’m having an even dimmer day Kath because I STILL don’t understand 11a!! No blinding flash for me yet – I’ll work on it. Have only just had the penny drop on 3d – not a word you see very often but it does of course make sense. I did finish it – apart from 3d – but needed lots of explanations for which thank you Gazza. Just 11a still hanging around – and I don’t understand where the judge came from either! HELP!

          • Posted November 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            You’ve got mail!

            • Addicted
              Posted November 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

              I have indeed, and very grateful to you. My problem was trying to fit “t” (for “time”) into the rest of it and so therefore ignoring the obvious! Just how convoluted do Xword brains have to be???
              If you can bear with me, I would like to tell you how I came to be aware of this site. Was sitting in departure lounge at Gatwick last year and trying to do the Xword, as was the gentleman opposite me. Eventually I gave up – looked at him and said “Excuse me Sir – but what on earth is 1a?” “Peking Duck” says he. Of course!! How dim am I? Then he said “What you need is Big Dave’s Crossword Blog”. Came home from cruise, logged on and here I’ve been ever since. Lovely man – we had a great time with him and his wife on that cruise and then he sadly died about 4 months later.

              • Kath
                Posted November 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

                I also tried to fit “t” into it all and then got SO muddled up that I just gave in really. I think that crossword brains do have to be pretty convoluted.

                Your story about the man and his wife is lovely, but also very sad. Are you still in touch with his wife? I do hope so. Glad that he put you in touch with this great blog.

                • Addicted
                  Posted November 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

                  Yes, we are still in touch – exchange the odd e-mail and have met up for a “cruise reuinion” lunch. She’s in good order – very supportive family & friends.

          • Franco
            Posted November 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            Addicted, do you have a garden? If so, follow Kath and walk down the path!

            11a – far too difficult to explain without being sent to the Naughty Step/Corner.

            Please, be Upstanding!

            • Kath
              Posted November 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

              11a took me FOREVER to understand. Thankfully we have a very long garden so plenty of time to cogitate – got about half way there and suddenly understood – with Gazza’s help so thank you again to him. :smile:

  10. Posted November 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Finally got to this after watching the Grand Prix. been a good weekend with both England and Wales winning and now Lewis back on form!
    Virgilius was certainly on form too – best, and trickiest, puzzle of the week IMHO!
    Thanks Virgilius and BD.

  11. Nora
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Is ‘North-West Syndrome’ a recognised ailment amongst crossworders, as I’ve been suffering from it for two days now?

  12. Posted November 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle. Hard enough to make you stop and smell the flowers. I think it was the NW corner that held me up with 3d going in last.
    Thanks to Virgilius and to BD.

  13. Derek
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Started this enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius after the family had gone home and I had cleared up.
    We all enjoyed the fondue bourginonne!

    Faves ; 9a, 13a, 15a, 19a, 25a, 1d, 3d, 4d, 15d & 18d.

    It is 00.40 hours now (Monday) in NL so I must get off to bed.

  14. Timcypher
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Agreed that this is unquestionably the puzzle of the week, as is so often the case with Virgillius.
    Absolutely adored 19a, 27a, 5d, 7d, 8d, 14d (extraordinary!) and my favourite and last in, 16d!
    Fantastic on every level! 8)