ST 2632 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2632 (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 submission.


1a           American male in bar who can’t relax on holiday? (6)
Put an American (2) and M(ale) inside a bar or prohibition to get the type of person whose holiday is spent in activities similar to his work

4a Way in Westminster political leader, bit by bit, gets followed by everyone (4,4)
To get this “way” in the Borough of Westminster take the abbreviation of a very senior political leader and put a word meaning everyone after each of the two letters

20a Like judge in robes, switching sides (5)
A judge is metaphorically said to be this – just swap the first and last letters of ROBES

26a Contacts some workers in hotel and leaves (5)
One of Virgilius’s signature triple definitions – a verb meaning contacts, some workers in a hotel and leaves of a book

29a         Feel bad about putting rook with another bird (6)
A verb meaning to feel bad about is created by putting a R(ook) in front of another bird


1d           Person who meddles by holding us, and then party, up (8)
This meddling person is derived from BY around (holding) US then BY again, this time around the reversal (up in a down clue) of a party

2d           Credulously believe insufficient evidence for climate change? (7)
A double definition – a verb meaning to credulously believe and one of these doesn’t make a summer (insufficient evidence for climate change) –  my personal favourite of today’s excellent collection of clues

16d         Treatise is required in key academic programme (9)
To get this treatise put the IS from the clue between a musical key and an academic programme or series of lectures

24d         With moving air, suddenly band provides great enjoyment (5)
A sudden movement of air is followed by a letter that looks like a band to get this great enjoyment

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 Sarah Jessica Parker (47), Elton John (65), Paul Michael Glaser (69), Aretha Franklin (70) and James Lovell (84)



  1. crypticsue
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    And the award for Puzzle of the Week once again goes to Virgilius. A very enjoyable start to Sunday morning – I would award it 5* for entertainment but … 25a just made me groan and mutter at the ‘approving’ bit which doesn’t sound anything like the part of the solution it represents, so it will have to be 4.95* entertainment, 2* difficulty. Thanks to BD for the hints too.

    Those of us in the eastern parts of the country would appreciate it if those of you in warmer climes didn’t mention the lovely day. My Banbury sister tell me it is 15.5 there, here we are struggling to get to 5 with a chilly wind and mist too.

    • franco
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      One of the easier Virgilius’ puzzles – but, as always so very, very clever!

      Agree about the weather on the East Coast today – cold, chilly, misty.

      Hope that those in sunnier climes don’t say “Haar, haar, haar!

    • gazza
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      OK – I won’t mention the heatwave in Devon – outside temperature here now 21.9.

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        I see where I went wrong in my request.. I didn’t say Please Please Pleast don’t mention…. :D Due to Mr CS’s meanness with the central heating oil I am currently sitting here in a wooly jumper, body warmer, jeans and thermal socks!

      • Pommers
        Posted March 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        Hotter than here then! Not actually unusual at this time of year but I’ll live with it :smile:

      • mary
        Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Heatwave here too gazza 20 deg or more the beach in Tenby was like summertime, amazing :-)

    • dogeatingpike
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      College heads……**
      Approving ……… ***** ……**-***

      • Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog dogeatingpike

        Please don’t give whole or partial answers to prize crosswords. I’ve reinstated the request at the bottom of the post that somehow has been omitted for the last month.

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I had the solutions – I just don’t like the approving bit. It has been in crosswords before and usually other people moan about it but I presume they were all out in the sun yesterday.

  2. Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    very entertaining, thanx to BD for the tips.
    have completed but unsure of how 2d and climate change works?.

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      One 2d doesn’t make a summer :)

  3. Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Thankx doh!

  4. Denis
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed today’s crossword here in sub tropical Cheadle Hulme. I particularly liked 18A, especially on a butty. Unsure about 2nd letter in 6D.Thanks to B.D. & Virgilius.


    • crypticsue
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      6d is hidden reversal so the second letter is obvious if you look for it.

      • Brian
        Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Thx Sue, it had to be that or a long stick that you would use to move a heavy object, just couldn’t see either fitting until your invaluable help. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle esp 27a. Thx to Virgilius and to BD for the hints which helped explain 1a. Weather gorgeous in Bucks, sorry the east coast in cold but then it always has been whenever I was there. It’s that North Sea wind you know -:)

      • Denis
        Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Thanks CrypticSue I saw that option. The alternative vowel solution however, if long enough, could move the world.

        Sorry about the delay in reply but I have had to bring the laptop into the kitchen as the sunshine outside made it impossible to see the screen.

        Did I mention it is Scorchio aqui?

        • crypticsue
          Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          The world isn’t just moving though, is it? Its in ‘revolution’ or revolving.

  5. Jezza
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    As Crypticsue says, once again, puzzle of the week! This was over too quickly today, but most enjoyable.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  6. Derek
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Another enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius.

    Likes : 4a, 13a, 18a, 25a, 3d, 6d, 9d & 17d.

    Did you all shift your clocks to summer time?

    I am always appalled at how many electronic devices have to be modified as well and I have to struggle with some of the older pieces as I forget the procedure!

  7. Colmce
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this puzzle, thank you Virgilius.

    Thanks to BD for hints as they explained a couple I had queries on.

    Agree with crypticsue, lay off the lovely weather comments, freezing in Dover with a nasty wind to go with it.

    • franco
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Le Mistral Anglais? Brrrr!!

  8. Posted March 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Spelling 14a with “U” in the middle made 2d quite difficult, and help up endex a while.
    All the clues were good, some great, and a couple quite brilliant.
    Many thanks to Virgilius, and BD for the hints – just in time for a drop or two at the local?

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      There is a really easy way to remember the spelling of this word – just think ‘W’ for ‘water’ :D

  9. Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle. 1a and 1d were among the last in and were excellent.
    I come here late having teed off at 08:20 in FFFreezing FFog at 6 DegC. Having convince myself that by the 6th hole I could discard my jacket and bask in the radiance of the Currant Bun I was sadly disappointed. Just warming up now but I did hit my handicap – 5 Pars and a Birdie (76 + a hole in Stableford).

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the hints.

  10. Annidrum
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant puzzle but I just can’t see 28a . Can anyone out there give me a hint please?

    • Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      28a) Novel Thoreau finally had written (8)

      Its a novel anagram of Thoreau with the last letter of haD. The definition is ‘Written’ as defined by the writer. HIH!

      • wingnut
        Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Still 2 to go.

    • franco
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      28a – Definition is “written” – Anagram of Thoreau plus last letter of ha(d).

    • Jezza
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      ‘written’ is the definition, and is an anagram (novel) of ‘Thoreau’, and the last letter (finally) of haD

      • Annidrum
        Posted March 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Thanks ,gnomethang, franco & Jezza . I thought it was an anagram as you say. Got it now but it didn’t help that I had 22d wrong & hadn’t even seen it in the clue.
        Stupid or what!!! :grin:

  11. Posted March 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Found this more difficult than usual, and am still struggling with 25a and 17d. Also, I don’t see the wordplay for 13a which is presumably that famous US university in Massachusetts . The difficult bit is obvious, but don’t get the middle bit. Liked 27a, one of our local authors, commemorated here by a school and a road.

    • gazza
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      17d Piece newspaper people put in daily initially (8)
      The definition is piece. Put a word for a downmarket newspaper plus ‘people’ (3) inside the initials of a pink daily newspaper.

    • gazza
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      25a College heads approving preparation of courses (7)
      The definition is preparation of courses (to be eaten). Start with the first two letters (heads) of college and add an informal synonym for approving or saying yes.

      • wingnut
        Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza for this and 17d. All done now.

    • gazza
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      The middle bit of 13a is 3 letters (out of 4, so “a lot”) of a verb meaning to change.

      • Posted March 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, now finished but must be thick as can’t see the change bit of 13a

        • gazza
          Posted March 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          It’s a 4-letter verb to change or alter without its final Y.

  12. Posted March 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps my brain has gone soggy with seeing so many trains over the weekend at the Severn Valley Railway Gala (Bittern was a superb main attraction) but I found this really difficult.
    Done now thanks to all clues given above, thanks!

  13. Kath
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Very late here tonight. Have had a lovely day in London taking youngest daughter out for a rather belated birthday lunch followed by some “retail therapy” – for her not me, and, needless to say, very expensive!! I do have to say that it now costs 50p to use a public loo in London – I will avoid the very obvious comment!!
    Now on to the crossword – started it only when we got home early this evening so completely out of routine. Either this is quite easy for a Sunday, I’m getting better, or I should do the crossword at a later time! Didn’t have much difficulty today apart from a couple. Needed the hint to explain 4a. Also needed help from the comments above to deal with 13a so thanks to anncantab and Gazza – was really slow with this one although the answer was obvious. With thanks to Virgilius and to all for the hints.

  14. Kath
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    PS Where the hell is Mary? She’s been missing for a couple of days now, unless I’ve missed something.

    • mary
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Hi Kath I have done the crosswords early on in the day but the weather has been so beautiful like summertime, it has just been too nice to be inside, the same today, will be off out for the day in about an hour or so, hopefully will be on blog soon or later this evening, nice to be missed :-D

  15. Posted March 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Everyone

    Late on parade today but been V busy. Managed this over late afternoon drinkie and what a fine puzzle it was :smile: Over too quick but a lot of fun in the solving.
    Thanks to Virgilius, for the puzzle, and thanks to BD for everything :grin:

  16. henostat
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilus & to Big Dave for the hints. Lovely puzzle, some very clever clues. Favourites were 3& 17. I’m stuck on the first word of 9d, 7d & 15a. Any hints would be most welcome, but don’t end up in Naughty Corner :-)

    • Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      15a Pardon me — that’s not right way to make an impression (4-4)
      An anagram (that’s not right way) of PARDON ME gives a poor way to make an impression on someone

      7d Largely outspoken, getting into trouble — kind of green (7)
      Put most of (largely) an adjective meaning spoken inside some trouble to get the kind of green that used to be a popular colour for bathroom suites

      9d Editor’s work, providing guidance on part of speech (7,7)
      The editor’s main contribution to a newspaper is a charade of a word meaning providing guidance and a part of speech

  17. henostat
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Typical, Gnome’s Law, went back to it after the last comment & got all three. Not sure if they’re right though :-)

    • Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      In that case I won’t delete my comment!

      • henostat
        Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Big Dave, I did get the correct answers, but missed the fact that 7a was an anagram. Very enjoyable puzzle.

        • henostat
          Posted March 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          Sorry meant 15a