ST 2624 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2624 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2624 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Many thanks for all the marvellous comments yesterday – I was able to read several of them during the festivities.

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           Intelligence possessed by highbrow is dominant (6)
This intelligence is hidden inside (possessed by) the clue

14a         How Nelson managed after one battle without a mate (6-8)
This adverb which describes how Nelson might have managed after the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife also means alone or without a mate

17a         Commonwealth leader will cover more amended line (6,8)
This leader of the Commonwealth of England back in the 17th century comes from an anagram (amended) of WILL COVER MORE followed by L(ine)

27a         One way to move ball in footer — or its opposite (6)
A cryptic definition of a way to move a football (legally!) without kicking it.


1d           Wife, in Irish author’s time, found in frontier region (4,4)
Put W(ife) inside the Irish author of The Picture of Dorian Gray and add the S from ‘S and T(ime) to get a frontier region famous for its Cowboys and Indians

5d           Athenian held by opponent of government, such as 17 (14)
Put the Athenian from the eponymous Shakespeare play inside a person whose ideal of society is one without government of any kind to get someone like the answer to 17 across

16d         Old golfer full of energy, who enjoys dramatic scenes? (4-4)
Put the surname of this very popular South African golfer, who won the British Open in 1959, 1968 and 1974, around a two-letter word for energy to get someone who visits the theatre frequently

22d         Talent that can be very illuminating, we hear (5)
This talent sounds like (we hear) something that could be illuminated to signal for help at sea

 A few more hints after a bite of lunch.

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 Tom Selleck (67) and Katherine Ross (72)

55 comments on “ST 2624 (Hints)

  1. A few proper names today including a couple of Froggies. 11a cleverly leads you in the wrong direction but he gets things back in the end.

    I think a glass of lunch is called for.



  2. Really enjoyed this today – not to hard, but a couple that made me scratch my head. Last one in was 12a – not too hot on poets but it fell into place with the wordplay; and I had heard of him!! Looks like you had a great day yesterday!

  3. A fiarly straightforward puzzle for a Virgilius – well I thought so. Enjoyable as ever so thanks to him and BD too.

  4. By ‘eck! That took some doing. Stuck on NW corner then solved 5d and it all slotted in. Most enjoyable. Thanks to Virgilius(?) & to BD for thehints.

  5. Very tough today, can’t get to grips with it all. Thx for the hints but they were some of the few clues that were easy (for me anyway). The two key clues 4a and 20 d have me well baffled and as for the two long ones 5d and 17a HELP!

    1. You have picked the ones that are hard to explain without gong to the naughty corner – and Mr CS and No 1 son finished off the last two slices of that cake last night!!). If no-one else can work out how to do it without giving too much away, I will see what I can do a bit later!

    2. 20d – This pain (especially through exercise) is also one that can be created by the insertion of a needle (and not a medical one!)

    3. 4a Information on supermarket food is revealing about fish (8)
      The information on the food reveals the price when you go through the checkout.

    4. 4a – The definition is ‘Information on supermarket food’, and is constructed from a type of fish inside a synonym for ‘is revealing’, as in revealing the truth.

      1. Finished at last but got lots of answers without fully understanding the clue! Thx to everyone for their help, I’ll have to wait for the full debrief to understand the whys and wherefores.

        1. I agree. There are some clues that I don’t fully understand. Some days everything makes perfect sense, but not today!

          1. Come back on Friday at noon and you will find that I have managed to work it all out :).

  6. Apart from trying to make an anagram of 9d (which was my favourite clue), a relatively gentle, but most excellent puzzle.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the fun.

  7. Afternoon Dave, hope you had a great time yesterday.

    Just about to try this one, been busy watching tennis all morning! What a match!

    1. And most of the afternoon. At least I managed to be up and dressed before the match. On Thursday I was still in my pyjamas at 3pm.

      Incredible – it’s nearly four football matches, and in the kicking game, you only run for one eleventh of the time. I know Señor Nora would disagree, but he’s in England so I’m safe saying it.

      1. Confess to dressing gown until the match ended! Only problem is that the wrong guy won, I really though Rafa was on a roll when he won the 4th and then broke serve early in the 5th but sadly it was not to be. No pasa nada.

        1. I agree. I’ve been a big Rafa fan throughout his career, not only his tennis, but his attitude to the game. He’s equally gracious in defeat and triumph.

  8. Great puzzle to-day with some really clever clues 14a &9d favourites. Last in for me 16d. Thanks to Virgilius.

  9. Can somebody explain 21a. I get the containers (first and last two letters), but shouldn’t it be femaleS and not female, and where does the extra ‘i’ come from?

  10. Solved on the M25 en route to see new grand-daughter. Getting the 2 long linked clues early certainly helped. Cheers Virgilius & Dave. Sore head this morning?

  11. Fine puzzle completed in the street outside local bar. The locals think we’re loco doing crosswords but what do they know! Weather here bright sunshine but only about 14C so snugs and warm socks the order of the day.

    Favourites 5d 17a.

    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  12. What an enjoyable crossword! Didn’t really understand 5D without the hint, though :-)

      1. Probably mixing the grape and the grain?? Or was it all those crosswords people kept pressing on us? :D

  13. Too busy watching the men’s final in Melbourne to tackle the puzzle earlier! Not hard fare.

    Faves : 4a, 13a, 17a, 24a, 1d, 5d, 9d & 16d.

  14. This provided a very pleasant after-dinner social solve for myself and a couple of friends.
    We finally arrived at a completed grid without any help. 24d was our last in, tho’ I’m confused by 7d – we have an answer, and it surely couldn’t possibly be anything else?
    26d raised a laugh, 9d was a big d’oh moment – we extend our usual thanks to grandmaster Virgilius for the class A Sunday entertainment. :)

      1. 24a YOu are after a sort of drama – insert a word meaning ancient (4) into ‘hears’ in the sense of a judge in a court.
        18d An anagram (becoming disorderly) of NATIVES makes a word meaing extremely proud.

      2. Hi Tmdess

        18d – an anagram (becoming disorderly) of NATIVES is the most proud.

        24a – Hears, as in a court case, around a word for old gives a type of drama.

  15. Thanks to Virgilus & to Big Dave for the hints, of which I had to use them all. Can’t get on the setter’s wavelength today. Please can anyone help with 13,23& 24a. Favourites were 14a & 11a.

    1. Hi Heno

      13a – D (lanD’s end) inside (pounded) a word for nastier gives a word for wind as in not in a straight line

      23a – A word for eager, often used for the desire of tennis players to win, around A(rea) is a modern democracy in E. Europe.

      24a – See replies at #17

      OK Dave – off to naughty corner now – and there’s no cake left!

      1. Hi Pommers, thanks for risking Naughty Corner to help me :-) I didn’t know 13a could apply to wind, I had only thought it was used with reference to water. Cheers, I live & learn.

      2. I brought the last piece home with me!

        It was a seriously nice cake that CS baked – it’s no wonder her cakes are so popular in her office.

  16. 7d is too obvious. Is there a subtlety I’ve missed? If not, it’s a very disappointing clue.

    1. Hi Paul – welcome to the blog.
      I’m sure it’ll all be explained tomorrow by Crypticsue or Gnomey (I can’t remember whose turn it is).

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