ST 2650 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2650 (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 submission


1a           Have influence on current parliamentarian decree (6)
This verb meaning to have influence on comes from a charade of the symbol used to represent electric current, Crosswordland’s usual parliamentarian and a legal decree

4a           Successive notes I had put outside and set apart (8)
Typical of Virgilius to notice that the three consecutive notes of the scale in sol-fa notation with the abbreviation of I (ha)D outside gives a verb meaning set apart

12a         Wave from a friend in Paris on back street (7)
This huge wave is formed by putting the French (in Paris) words for a and friend after ST(reet) reversed

15a         Two men, and not a woman, in part of France (8)
Two ways of getting this answer: a) combine the names of two men (4 & 4); b) a word meaning and not followed by a woman’s name (5) – either way it’s a part of France

25a         Managed to continue providing capital earlier for some Asians (7)
A verb meaning managed (3) is followed by a phrasal verb meaning to continue (2,2) to get the former capital of an Asian country – bet you don’t know the name of the new capital (don’t answer that!)

27a         Put too many into lift, say — more than three? (9)
This verb meaning to put too many people into a lift or other location could, if split (4,5), be taken as being more than the quantity represented by three in a well known saying

29a         Repeatedly copied single in newer kind of record (6)
This verb meaning repeatedly copied is derived by putting a word meaning single inside a newer kind of record – not so new since the advent of  downloads!


1d           One caught in local, not at work (8)
Start with I (one) and then add C(aught) inside a word meaning local or domestic to get this adjective meaning not at work

2d           Very little paid for source of oil (7)
How one might describe a very little amount paid to buy something is also a source of vegetable oil

5d           Location in West End anyone can use for their address (8,6)
A cryptic definition of the location in London’s West End where anyone can address the assembled masses

16d         In charge in club, liable to prove poisonous (9)
Put the abbreviation of In Charge inside an unmentionable football club to get an adjective meaning liable to prove poisonous

21d         Part of speech from prof, no dunce, without notes (7)
This part of speech is there in the clue – just remove the notes of the diatonic scale

24d      Old weapon found in a river bank (5)
This old weapon is derived from a charade of the A from the clue, R(iver) and a bank or tier

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 Brian Joseph Burton aka Danger Mouse (35) and Mikis Theodorakis (87)


  1. crypticsue
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I seem to be having one of those weeks where the SW corner of any puzzle takes longer than all the rest to solve. Today’s lovely Virgilius puzzle was no exception but that was my only hold up in this superb Sunday crossword.

    Thanks Virgilius, my favourites include 4a and 21d but the top favourite has to be the extremely well hidden 23a. Thanks to BD too.

    • Sweet William
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Agree ! SW corner last in and it took me ages to get 23 a.

      I even put the answer in and for the life of me could not see why.

      Thanks to setter and BD.

      • Kath
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Me too!!

  2. Derek
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Usual Sunday fun from Virgilius.
    Faves 4a, 12a, 15a, 27a, 2d, 5d, 9d & 19d.

    Weather in the Var still magnificent.

  3. toadson
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    COW for me. Liked 4a,12a and 21d among others.

  4. Jezza
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    More challenging than last Sunday, and more enjoyable I thought.
    Penny drop moment for me was ‘and not a woman’ in 15a. Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  5. Colmce
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    As always this Sunday puzzle an absolute joy.
    4a,12a,25a,23a,17d favourites.
    All answers possible with a bit of thought and analysis and no obscure words!

    Thanks to BD for the review.

    Thanks Virgilius.

  6. Kath
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was a great puzzle today. The bottom left corner took me about twice as long as the rest of the crossword.
    There were several that I didn’t understand but the hints have explained some of them. Now I’m just left with two that I can’t work out – 26a and the middle bit of 7d – I get the “having the same score” bit (the first and last three letters) but can’t see the rest. Any help would be much appreciated. 4 and 14a and 21d are the sort of clues that I could never do before I found this blog, so thanks again to all concerned.
    Lots of brilliant clues – 4, 15, 23 (took me ages!) and 28a and 8, 19 and 21d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    • toadson
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      26a … The coin is only one letter, if that helps?

    • Digby
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Kath, the answer is a word synonym for matched, as in agreed.
      Your misssing 3 letters are just another word for each, or every.

    • Jezza
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kath

      You are not the only one confused with 7d. I am still not convinced with my explanation. I was hoping it was some sort of clever charade of how you could word ‘having the same score’ if you moved the first letter of the answer down a few places, but I think I am probably trying to make it more complicated than it was meant.

      • gazza
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        I think the middle bit is the last word of how you might describe a score of 2-2 or 3-3 (the same score for each team), for example.

        • Jezza
          Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Thanks gazza – that one was troubling me!

    • Kath
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I’m still hunting for the team!! Or am I completely missing the point somehow? :sad:

      • Kath
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Finally got there – you mean the middle bit is “for each team” rather than just “each”! At last!

    • Kath
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      PS No manners today – thanks all for replying! :smile:

  7. Jill Besterman
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Good puzzle today, tough enough to be interesting but solvable without help, just a bit of thought. I really liked 4a.

  8. Denis
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I have just started today’s crossword. I have been delayed by having to repair drop down front to cd storage after it was sat on by grandchild ( as yet unidentified ).
    Last weekend was more fun I attended the B & S meeting here in Manchester. It was great to meet so many lumenaries.

    Apparently I just missed meeting Pommette.



  9. slartibartfast
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Re hint for 16d, ipsciwich does not go in.

    • Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      I wanted to fit The Scum in!

      • Brian
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Oh I don’t know BD, surely this club and poisonous go together well :-)

        • Heno
          Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Watch it :-)

  10. gnomethang
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    15a is a to clue!. Lovely stuff from Virgilius. 3/4 went in fast and I spent some more minutes filling the rest in as the pennies droppped. Proper crossword!. THanks to BD as well.

  11. Brian
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle today, quite makes up(almost) for some of this weeks stinkers!

  12. weekend wanda
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Thank setter for good fun. Thanks also for all the comments which I always enjoy. No real problems here. NW was last corner in for me and as I always start at the beginning I thought it was going to be a challenge. Liked 4 10 12 25 and 28a and 2 3 and 5 d. Last one in 2d and kicked myself! Usually one led to another pretty quickly.

  13. The Buffer
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Very nice puzzle today, thoroughly enjoyed it. This 23a has been at 9d on many an occasion, so I’ll vote them as favourites.
    Thanks to Virgilius and BD.
    Feeling a bit pleased with myself today, having finished carviing a shepherds’ crook head with a thistle feature, from solid Oak, and I think it’s my best work to date.

    • Kath
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Your carving sounds pretty wonderful to me – I’m glad you’re pleased with yourself.

  14. MikeT
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure I’m missing something really silly, but I’m totally stumped by 11a – even though I only need two letters!

    • Brian
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      I sympathise. It took me ages to get round ‘announced’, surely it should be ‘pronounced’.

      • crypticsue
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        If you have the latest edition of Chambers, have a look in the Wordgame Companion bit in the middle. It lists 34 homophone indicators, including the two mentioned by Brian.

  15. The Buffer
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mike T

    Theother half are the opposite sex.

    • MikeT
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Derrrr … I’m an idiot – Easy really, but I didn’t see it.

  16. Brian Greer
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I should clear up something I wrote a few weeks back, to the effect that I am not the “Jed” who contributed some Toughies. My memory was at fault, as I discovered when Phil sent me a book of Toughies and I started doing a “Jed”. I was admiring the smooth surfaces when the penny dropped.

    As always thanks to the reviewing team, and for everyone’s comments.

    • Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink


      I must have missed your earlier comment. Here’s where your cover as the new Sunday setter was blown, although you weren’t actually named!

    • Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      For future reference, here is a list of all your Toughies:

        2 03/09/2008
        6 10/09/2008
       12 19/09/2008
       17 30/09/2008
       30 22/10/2008
       54 03/12/2008
       71 02/01/2009
       93 11/02/2009
      110 12/03/2009
      124 07/04/2009

      • Kath
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t know that Toughies had been going for that long. I don’t ever remember seeing one by Jed, although I have only started looking at them fairly recently.

  17. Annidrum
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff! :smile:

  18. Heno
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. Usual great stuff from Virgilius, completed the top first, then the SE, then the SW.Favourites were 23 & 25a.

  19. Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Busy day again today puzzle done in many short stints. Wasn’t going to have a go but glad I made time. Does anyone else have annoying connection messages flashing up on the iPad edition? Only been happening since the last update. Very annoying. Really slow download too. Regds to all.

  20. Brian Greer
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks much, BD, for the archival info.