ST 2652 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2652 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2652 (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.

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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           Small hint gives you this answer without difficulty (6)
Combine S(mall) with a verb meaning to hint or suggest to get an adverb meaning without difficulty

4a           Indication of text missing over page, on which one’s reprimanded (6)
This indication of missing text came up very recently – put it around (over) P(age) to get where someone is metaphorically reprimanded

11a         Colour reused in elegant interior, just in time (4)
This colour is hidden not once but twice inside the clue

12a         On reversing, sounded horn, say, warning ladies and others (10)
Start by reversing ON, then add a verb meaning sounded, for example (say) a horn then add a warning or sign of some future event to get ladies and others collectively

21a         Dock tail of poodle that’s appealingly pretty (4)
Start with a three-letter verb meaning to dock then add the final letter (tail) of poodlE to get an adjective meaning appealingly pretty

23a         Male backed older females taking leading roles (8)
The key here is to lift and separate – the wordplay is male backed older: the male pronoun followed by the reverse of an adjective meaning older and the definition is females taking leading roles

25a         Pronounced why, in general, it’s a less important way (6)
Put the letter which is pronounced as “why” inside an adjective meaning general to get this less important way or route


1d           It’s scary getting converted in this part of church (8)
An anagram (getting converted) of IT’S SCARY gives the part of a church where religious utensils, vestments, etc. are kept

7d           Cast was uneasy when resting (6)
A double definition – cast or threw and was uneasy when resting in bed

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d         Period of development, for instance, held up on-line construction? (9)
This period of development is derived from the Latin abbreviation of for instance reversed (held up in a down clue) and a construction on a railway line

15d         Person who looks after kids with nannies (8)
… and maybe the billies as well!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d         Country hiding nothing in scheme tried after three failures? (6)
To get this country put O (nothing) inside (hiding) the scheme that might follow three failed schemes (4,1)

21d         Capital in company affected by inflation? (5)
To get this capital city CO(mpany) is affected by inflation – i.e. with ___ inside

Today it’s Happy Birthday to Pete Sampras (41) and Amanda Redman (55)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

38 comments on “ST 2652 (Hints)

  1. Thanks for the blog, I was stuck on 4a and didn’t get the wordplay of 23a (however there is a mistake in the hint, the male bit). Overall an enjoyable crossword.

  2. Pleasant Sunday outing but I am stuck on 7d even with all the checking letters I don’t get it and don’t really get the hint either! Any further help putting this one to bed would be much appreciated.

      1. Thx BD, the problem was I had 10a slightly wrong so the checking letters were wrong. All done now so I can start preparing the BBQ.

  3. One of, if not the, best puzzle of the week again. Has all the lovely trademark hidden words, great clues and d’oh of the day, my last one in 22a. Thanks to Virgilius for the continuing fun and luckily for me, it is my turn this week to enjoy it a second time for the review. :)

    Thanks as always to BD too.

  4. I found this slightly trickier than the last couple of weeks, but just as enjoyable. Kicked myself when I got 22a, a typical Virgilius clue, and my last in was 7d.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  5. Was it just me or was this a tricky little rascal compared to recent Sundays? Agree with CS that it’s a strong contender for puzzle of the week. Enjoyed it a lot :smile:
    Favourites 16a and 12a (last in).

    Many thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. Droopy

      On the contrary, I found this to be one of the easier Sunday puzzles and had all bar three on first pass and they went in easily once I had the checking letters.

      1. Do you think if Pommette was at home, there might be less opportunity to make up new names ? :D

        1. This will be the last one! Was thinking of Warren Peece, Orson Karte, Andy Mann etc but you can take a thing too far.

      2. Must have been me then. Strange as I’m usually in tune with Virgilius. Knew I shouldn’t have had the last vino last night!

    2. I’d told myself that I’d be looking out for the next new “name” – missed it!! Do people recognise others by their “little faces”? I obviously don’t!! :smile:

      1. Kath – a number of the bloggers get an email to say that a comment is awaiting moderation. Whoever approves it usually adds a welcome, in fact if you reply to the comment through the control panel it is automatically approved. Only then do you get to see it, so you are at a distinct disadvantage!

  6. I thought that this was going to be tricky but ended up thinking it was maybe a bit easier than the average Sunday puzzle – if there is any such thing!!
    I didn’t understand three of my answers – 7, 19 and 21 – but BD has provided hints for all of them so I don’t need to pester anyone asking for explanations!! I was being dim as none of them was very difficult – the result of a late night and quite a lot of wine with dinner!
    22a was my last one – as Jezza has already said a typical Virgilius clue and they still always catch me out – I will learn one day!!
    Clues that I liked include 11, 12 (even though “tooted” just wouldn’t fit in anywhere!) 21 and 22a and 1, 3 and 15d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD for the hints – especially as he included my three problems!
    Back to grass cutting before it rains.

  7. Enjoyed that a lot -needed hints for 12a though, couldn’t get that at all! and explanation for 25a – had got it but couldn’t quite understand why. Ditto 4a, until I consulted Chambers – must file that word away for the future. Thanks to setter and BD.

  8. Good Sunday fare.
    Got 23a but not the wordplay until I’d stared and stared at it.
    Memo to self – pay attention when you see ‘backed’ in a clue.
    Some other crafty clues as well, eg 19d, clever.
    Thanks Virgilius and BD

  9. I enjoyed today’s crossword. Not too difficult so no need to resort to BDs hints.
    Still, thanks to BD for being there if needed and to the setter for a pleasant Sunday mind stretch

  10. I thought it was a super puzzle today. My last one was 23d (after sneaking a look at the hint) Mem put out a line of washing and went for a swim,so sunny Cheadle Hulme promptly became rainy and self got wet bringing it in.
    Plenty of hidden words today so I assume my thanks are to Virgilius.
    I was intrigued by 1a so I concentrated on the NW corner first.
    My favourite clue was 12a although “sounded say” led me to look for a homonym that was not there.

    Regards to all inc. BD

    She’s back………….It’s stopped and she wants to know why the washing isn’t out………..It didn’t rain inside the swimming baths.

    Dead Meat

    1. Bring your washing down to Kent – it is lovely and sunny and the perfect washing drying breeze. Trouble is, I now have a heap of ironing.

      1. She’s gone out.

        Important meeting with her pal Carol in the coffee shop at M & S. The conversation will start with “don’t talk to me about daughters in law”.

        Pommers appears to be upto no good. Probably operating under the name of Willie Eckerslight.

        The sun’s come out. What do you think?


        1. Sun WAS out in Oxford too but now has a rather threatening look about it – very hot and sticky with ominous looking clouds. On the plus side have just finished cutting grass!
          Daughter-in-law problems must be tricky – poor you!
          As for Pommers – he’s ALWAYS up to no good!! :)

  11. Phew ! Finally got to the end. Enjoyable but hard work. I am blaming Mo Farah and the subsequent celebrations for lack of brainpower today.

    Thank you setter and BD – I needed your help, much appreciated.

  12. Thanks to all for the help. Overcast here and heading to Mt Washington, to sleep in huts on the Appalachian trail tonight. No Internet so Mrs T thinks I will get withdrawal symptoms.

  13. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. Usual great stuff from Virgilius. I did enjoy this a lot. Started with 1d, finished with 7d. Favourites were 1d & 25a. The former, I only got because it was once mentioned on the Time Team. Glorious day in Central London, looking forward to the Closing Ceremony of the Games, but It’ll be a shame when It’s over. Team GB have been superb.

  14. I was doing really well today until I reached 25a and had to resort to the hint; at which point I felt that, having been at this for so many years, I ought to have sussed it. Thanks BD and Virgilius – found it a bit tricky here and there but very entertaining stuff.
    Part Sun, part cloud but warm here in West Cumbria. Barbecue it is and a nice little something to sip whilst playing chef.
    Greetings all.

  15. Must be easier than usual because I got through it very quickly except 4a, 7d & 23a. Then I checked here and all becomes a lot clearer! Thanks bigD.

  16. Thanks to Virgilius for a fine (but swift) puzzle and to BD for the blog. Back to work tomorrow. Bah!.

  17. Could I get a hint for 10 across please. I have all the checking letters but can’t see how any word that fits comes from the clue.

    1. Definition is most faithful. Insert the ‘heart’ of sweet into a synonym for confidence.

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