ST 2623 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2623 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Across

1a           Unfriendly daughter isn’t accepting thanks (7)
An adjective meaning unfriendly or reserved is derived from D(aughter) and ISN’T around (accepting) thanks

9a           Wine goblet found in church by daughter of Oxford dean (7)
This wine goblet is a charade of CH(urch) and the name of the daughter of Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, who was the inspiration for the famous books by Lewis Carroll

17a         City played in London initially in 2009 (9)
Particularly tricky for solvers outside London, this Middle Eastern city is also the title of a critically acclaimed play that opened at the Royal Court theatre in 2009

28a         Final instalment of pay, deserved and desired (7)
The final letter (instalment) of paY followed by a verb meaning deserved or merited gives a different verb meaning desired

Down

1d           Appropriate behaviour from Italian writer caught in snare, perhaps (7)
A word for appropriate behaviour or propriety of conduct is created when the Italian author of The Name of the Rose is placed (caught) inside a musical instrument of which the snare is an example (perhaps)

4d           Time to study economist’s revolutionary form of punishment (9)
A charade of T(ime), a verb meaning to study literature and the surname of famous economist John Stuart (a perennial crossword favourite!) gives a form of punishment for which many pay good money to use at gymnasiums

20d         Composer attacked by insects, crossing river (7)
I loved this one! – this English composer, conductor and pianist, one of the central figures of 20th century British classical music, is derived by putting a word meaning attacked by insects like mosquitos around (crossing) R(iver)

24d         Kind of butterfly often found in list (5)
A double definition – a type of butterfly or the punctuation that usually separates items in a list

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 John Hurt (72)

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88 Comments

  1. mary
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Good morning Dave and thanks for blog although I finished without it, I have question marks and exclaimation marks all over the place today! I needed my electronic friends and CCD lots today, too much general knowledge in this one for me, 17a, I thought it might have been played at the start of a test match or something!! 25a is on the lines of 22d yesterday, it’s not a word that is usually used is it? 15a, I wasn’t sure at first which way round this was and put the wrong one in! in 16d I didn’t know those four letters as an abbreviation for America, etc. etc. but nevertheless I sort of enjoyed it and found it easier than yesterday, fav clues 20d and 15a, good luck everyone, not easy but doable with lots of help and perservation (at least it was for me) :-)

  2. Tilly
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle. No specific favourites today, although some answers wouldn’t go amiss in the GK puzzle today I think. Thanks to BD and setter.

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Whereas the General Knowledge puzzle is full of stuff that isn’t ‘general’ at all.

    • mary
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I agree Tilly, too much general knowledge for me today

      • Tilly
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Unless I had too much of the nectar last night, i thought that the GK has a mini theme to coincide with the fact that it is no. 1000. Or not?

        • crypticsue
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          I think it has but it doesn’t detract from the fact that Mrt CS and I who normallly manage to complete a GK between us gave up because some of the General Knowledge was impossible.

          • Tilly
            Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            Without wishing to say too much, it feels that there was more interest taken to include two specific letters than anything else, which even included a part answer repetition. And, of course, 4d trips off the tongue on a daily basis!

        • Nora
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          There are lots of words in the GK with the letter ‘k’ which I took to be a theme of sorts.

  3. crypticsue
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Superb 5* entertainment as usual from the Sunday Maestro. My only regret that it was over far too soon but I enjoyed it while it lasted. Lots of favourites including 15a, 1d, 5, 8d, 20d, 23 and 24d too. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  4. pommers
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Is it just me in a good mood this morning or is Virgilius getting even better? Pommette’s helping out at some sort of ‘horsey’ gymwotsit thingy today so I actually got to do this one on my own, so maybe that’s why I liked it so much, certainly 5* entertainment for me.

    This was one of those puzzles where I had a sense of disappointment when I realised there were no more clues left – great stuff!

    Favourite 17d but it’s not really fair to single out one clue from so much good stuff.

    Thanks Virgilius, keep them coming like this one please. Also thanks to BD who deserves a rest today after yesterday’s mammoth session!

    • pommers
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Oh, and no mention of toilets!!!

  5. Jezza
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent puzzle as we come to expect on a Sunday. A fairly quick solve, although I did need to check a couple of things in Chambers (butterflies are not my forte).
    Plenty of good clues; the one I liked the most was 25a.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD for the notes.

    • mary
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      But is 25a a used word Jezza, surely no one says that, usually more ****

      • mary
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        I know the clue is clever but…….
        Off to see War Horse now

        • Jezza
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          ‘Off to see War Horse now’…. is that the one you painted yesterday? :)

      • Jezza
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Hi Mary,

        It’s not a word I use, but I liked the surface of the clue, and the way it fitted the answer.

        • pommers
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          Same here, and it’s noce to see the whole phrase for once rather than the usual abbreviation!

  6. Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Glad you all found it easy – took me longer than usual! And 17a – the clue meant nothing to me as a country bumpkin so the clue given above only served to explain why my guess was correct!
    I liked 11a best I think, but it was a good one, even though (or perhaps because) it had me head scratching.

    • Nora
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      I got the answer to 17a from the checking letters. I didn’t know about the play, but that doesn’t mean living outside of London puts me at a cultural disadvantage, Dave!

      • Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        I live outside London as well, and the setter lives in Portland, Oregon.

  7. Pam
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m struggling! Had only done a few when I read your noes but had already done two of them!
    17a was a mean clue. I thought it was a football clue! My heart sinks when I see people have finished but I’m not giving up yet. Don’t usually do the Sunday one and I realise why!

    • Kath
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      For years (actually until I found this blog) I didn’t look at the Sunday puzzle because it just wasn’t worth the frustration. I still think they are the most difficult of the week but can usually manage them now. When there’s a particularly fiendish one (or when I’m having a dim day) there are always people around to pick up the pieces – you only have to ask for help and someone will reply very quickly. Good luck and don’t give up!! :smile:

      • Pam
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Kath, for encouragement. I’m trying, take it which way you will!

        • Nora
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Pam, I didn’t enjoy this either. Whilst I got all clues right bar one, I couldn’t for the life of me understand a lot of the clues. Other days of the week are much more satisfying.

  8. Kath
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed it today and didn’t find it as tricky as some Sunday puzzles – perhaps I’m just getting a bit more used to them. I didn’t understand why 17a was what it was until I read the hint for that one. With 15a I’m not sure whether the definition is “addition” or “not fair”!! The fourth letter ie the one that needs swapping around doesn’t affect anything else so I’m still dithering! I didn’t know that 13a was a gun. I liked 5, 8, 14, 16, 17 and 20d. With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      15a Addition after changing sides? That’s not fair (9)

      I recently commented on a clue in an NTSPP submission that although putting instructions like this between the two parts of the clue can be correct it is extremely unpopular with solvers. In this particular clue the phrase before the question mark is the wordplay and after it is the definition. In this respect the setter has been fair, but I could name at least one Toughie setter who is quite capable of requiring the opposite, yodaesque, approach. This one is particularly difficult in that the altered letter is in an unchecked square (unch).

      • Kath
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Thanks BD – so it’s not just me being particularly dim then? :smile:

      • wingnut
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        So, which is the definition then?

  9. pommers
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Now, is this going to work? :cool:

    • pommers
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Coo, never tried that before!

    • Kath
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I love these! My two favourites are:- :oops: and :roll: I don’t seem to be able to get them to work in emails – perhaps that’s just as well as our daughters absolutely hate them and say they should be used rarely, if ever! :grin:

    • Franco
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      pommers? Sunny in Spain or a hangover?

      • pommers
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Sunny, I’m sat outside at moment and no hangover! pommette’s still doing unspeakble things with horses so I’ve not much to do apart from mess about with emoticons and watch the snooker, while listening to the Man City v Spurs game! Busy or what? :grin:

        • Nora
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Poor Pommers. Spain has much more to offer than snooker, football and smiley faces! It’s San Antonio Abad this weekend, so there are bonfires, fireworks, mascaletas, animal blessings.

          • pommers
            Posted January 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            Hi Nora While I would normally agree with you about what Spain has to offer (El Classico springs to mind), on a day when it’s the Snooker Masters final, City v Spurs and Utd v Arsenal one has to get one’s priorities right!

            • Nora
              Posted January 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

              Hmmm!

        • Annidrum
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Kind of wet here in Cantabria today & yesterday so Mr A was quite happy as he could watch the footie without being nagged
          Pleased you got over the lurgie.

          • pommers
            Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            Thanks.

  10. SpikeyMikey
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Struggling with 15a – just can’t see it. Hint would be appreciated! :-)

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Think of fair as in Weather :razz:

      • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        You need a colon at each end of the smiley code! I’ve amended it for you.

      • SpikeyMikey
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Large clang as the penny drops – ta for that! :-)

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      15a Addition after changing sides? That’s not fair (9)
      As David has said, the definition is “not fair” as a description of weather. Start with an addition and change the abbreviation for one side to that of the other side.

      • Tantalus
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        From Right to Left

      • Pam
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        15a; Got it at last. Thanks. Still struggling.
        Help with SW corner needed, nothing there after 17a
        Also finding 23a baffling.

        • Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          23a Command one army corps, in a manner of speaking (9)
          A command or instruction is created by putting I (one) and an army corps inside a manner of speaking – usually used to mean “correct” speaking.

  11. Tantalus
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Save our marriage, help with 5a please. 23F here in Boston (-5C), sunny crisp morning, too nice for a divorce.

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      needing help from a ‘LIMEY’

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      How much is it worth?

      5a Resistance, in part, is hard for people in these islands (7)
      Put R(Resistance) inside a part (3) and then add IS H(ard) to get THESE islands

      • Tantalus
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Half of my net worth. About 10 bob!

  12. Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Great Crossword. Some very good clues Best were 8 & 23d. With thanks to Virgilius and BD

  13. Franco
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable Sunday Puzzle – but not one of the better ones. But I always like the surface readings from Virgilius.

    8d – how does the middle letter mean “high temperature”?

    5d – My clue of the day – I looked for an island for far too long!

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      8d – it doesn’t. Split the answer as (3’1,3) and the result is a tautology

      • Franco
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        BD, Thanks! Thought you’d be watching the football! It’s safe to watch now – Spurs have just equalised 2-2! Deep Joy!

        • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          It’s on by my side!

          • pommers
            Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            What a bugger!

            • Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

              Irony is when a player who should have been sent off goes on to score the winning goal.

              • pommers
                Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

                True enough. That’s life I suppose – now bring on the Gunners for a bit of spiking!

              • pommers
                Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

                The guns have been well spiked this season!

            • Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

              Perhaps now Webb will go to Specsavers – he needs to!

              • Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

                Console yourselves that you support a floroushing club. The nearest (then) football league club to where I was born was Darlington, who can’t even afford to pay their players at present!

              • pommers
                Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

                Apparantly De Gea is having eye surgery – seems a bit drastic to me!

                • Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

                  Today’s ref needs a lobotomy!

                  • pommers
                    Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

                    Thought he’d had one.

    • Tantalus
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi temp being the word opposite of cold, repeated (tautomer) around S to mean expert. I think.

      • Franco
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Tantalus, Thanks for your reply. Just looked up “tautomer” – n. (chem) a readily interconvertible isomer.

        Just been to BD’s FAQ to find out how to add formatting to a comment – there are supposed to be italics somewhere above.

        I then found the paragraph entitled “Why is my comment being ignored?” Hmmmm?

        • Franco
          Posted January 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Ps – A reference to my comments – not yours!

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I was wondering that too, Franco. Your question indicates that I have the correct answer, but I too need reassurance. Also that 12a is what I think it is as, I can’t see how the second half of the clue works. Hey, it is Sleepy Sunday!

      • Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        12a Achieve some basic education with a head (5)
        Some basic edication (one of a set of three!) and a word meaning “a head” or “per head” gives a word meaning to achieve

        • Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Cheers Boss – I was struggling with a shortened version of one of the 3 R’s and about H(ead), but not getting very far. Another Super Sunday Solve. Now for a bit of R&R.

      • Kath
        Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        12a took me ages to understand – I had interpreted it as the first two letters being the basic education, the “A” from the clue and then who knew where the last two letters came from but it was obviously right – then the light dawned!!

        • Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          The use of “a head” to mean “per head” and vice versa is often used by setters to have an A to clue PER

  14. SpikeyMikey
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Got there in the end!!! Very enjoyable :-) Thanks to the tipsters and this great blog. Couldn’t have done it without you.

  15. Brian
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Tough but fun today but still struggling with top left because I cannot see 5a! Also although I have all the checking letters I can’t make head nor tail of 25a. Any help would be much appreciated with this tough puzzle.

    • Brian
      Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Sorry I meant top RIGHT.

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      See comment #11 for 5 across

      25a A river that is extremely short of water (7)
      start with A R(iver) and add the full Latin phrase for “that is” – the one that is usually abbreviated – to get an adjective meaning extremely short of water

      • Brian
        Posted January 23, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Thx BD but I have had to admit defeat, bit too tough for me I’m afraid. Got the 5a but 7d,8d, 12a and that awkward 25a have got me beat.

  16. Derek
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    An exceptionally enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius today – very many good clues.
    Faves : 13a, 15a, 17a, 23a, 26a, 1d, 5d, 8d, 16d & 23d.

  17. wingnut
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable today, even though i finished not knowing why for 5 of the answers (13, 15, 17, 25a & 16d); reading the forum has explained all bar 16d – I get the cold and the pale bit but have not come across that shortenning for america before. Or have i got it all wrong?
    I did have Diary in for 23d for a while.
    As ever, ta to the forum for the help.

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      It is, of course, in Chambers but is not often used.

  18. Annidrum
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Struggled a bit to begin with and Mr.A & I cogitated over 5a for some time before it dawned on him not me and I would never have got 17a had it not been for his help,but apart from that managed to finish and enjoy it. Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  19. Prolixic
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    What was it Anax suggested about people having more time to solve crosswords on Sundays. I managed to solve this gem of a Virgilius with my morning cup of coffee before getting up and since then have not stopped!

    Excellent crossword as always for which thanks to the setter and to BD for the notes.

  20. Weekend wanda
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Been out for the day so just done with one eye whilst watching Dancing on Ice. Very enjoyable. Got left side straight in did not understand the clue for 17a but answer obvious. Top right last in. 5a obvious once you think about it! Brilliant clue. I liked16d although it messed with my answer for 23a. I had put in the other usual army answer – the part time one. 15a also very good. I had the same problem in knowing which side to go. What I like is that many clues can be solved from the surface reading and worked out backwards. Thanks to setter and BD for confirming especially 17a

  21. BigBoab
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Excellent crossword, thanks to Virgilius and to BD for the hints.

  22. Heno
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilus for the puzzle & to Big Dave for the hints of which I needed a couple, phew, tough going needed to read the blog to get another couple, all done now. Thanks all. Very enjoyable puzzle, made me try to think deeply:-) Favourites were 5d, 11& 19a.