ST 2659 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2659 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2659 (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”.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submission


1a           Person using lawyer, say, securing legal right in court (6)
A legal right inside the abbreviation of C(our)T

4a           Put together a score, not 27 (8)
… that’s a musical score

13a         Emotionless university official admitting 500 every year (7)
A university official around (admitting) the Roman numeral for 500 and the two-letter abbreviation meaning every year

14a         Form of transport, note, linked with city of Paris mainly (5)
Sheer brilliance!  Definition, wordplay and &Lit all-in-one.  The third note of the scale in sol-fa notation followed by most of the city associated with Paris, son of Priam

27a         I will josh about area that’s not comfortable (3,2,4)
Abbreviate “I will” then add a verb meaning to josh or make fun of and insert A(rea)

29a         Most rum toddies must be drunk without one (6)
An anagram (must be drunk) of TODD(I)ES without I (one)


1d           A search after pet in grave situation (8)
The A from the clue and a verb meaning to search after a domestic pet give a situation for a grave

5d           Old composer left on island in kind way, with excessive care (4-10)
A charade of O(ld), an Italian Romantic composer, L(eft), I(sland) and an adverb meaning in a kind way

7d           Precipitously reduced energy that marked end of cross-country race? (7)
Most of (reduced) a word meaning precipitously followed by E(nergy) – think of another name for a cross-country race and you’re there!

8d           Man in game that’s almost certainly spotted (6)
… a game played with pieces that are marked with spots

19d        Person who’s stopped working on Scottish island (7)
A charade of a word meaning on or about and a Scottish island

22d        Periods of good fortune – excited, as a result (6)
A charade of periods of good fortune and an adjective meaning excited

24d         In jail, unchained? One will never be free, they say (5)
Hidden inside the clue – proverbially there is no such thing as a free one

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 Johnny Mathis (77) and Angie Dickinson (81)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

59 comments on “ST 2659 (Hints)

  1. Trotted through this but stuck on 7D and 15A can someone offer a shove in the right direction please

    1. I’ve added a hint for 7d

      15a Girl with sign showing what some people make (8)
      A charade of a shortened version of a girl’s name and a star sign gives what some people make

  2. 5* entertainment for me today – Virgilius at his very best! Many Thanks!

    So many wonderful clues today. My favourites: 14a – the Paris one. And a very close second the hidden 10a.

  3. Got 16 D wrong had it starting with A so that leaves few options for 7D I assume this pointy thing is where traditionally a cross country race ends. Last time I ran one dinosaurs still roamed. Thanks for the nudge from a lovely sunny day on the Costa.

  4. Very enjoyable – thank you Virgilius and BD. Needed something to cheer me up having taken grandson to his first football match yesterday …….to watch our team lose. The Ryder cup did not help either, but there is still hope !

    Struggled to finish NE corner today, but finally cracked it.

    Nice to see yesterday’s detective novel featuring Jeremy Brett on TV this pm ! Is it necessary to visit the naughtie corner ? or hopefully there were enough hints yesterday to be spared.

    1. If anyone is going to the naughty corner today perhaps it should be BD because of what he said about when he would be doing some more hints!! I suppose the trouble is that he’s probably not eligible!!

  5. I thought this was a really good crossword.
    I had a spot of trouble in the top left corner – slow to get 1a for some reason – no excuses apart from a VERY late night and an awful lot to eat and drink! 1d took a while and so did 2d. I didn’t understand 10a for ages – Virgilius really is the master of the hidden kind of answers. Also didn’t understand 7d but the hint has sorted that one out. That just leaves me with 8d that I can’t explain – my answer definitely has spots but what it’s got to do with the man?
    I liked 10, 13 and 25a and 2 and 3d. Favourites 14a and 21d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

    1. 8d – In the pub game! Only one of the pieces doesn’t have any spots!

      Ps. John Thaw makes an appearance in yesterday’s (3d) Detective Story – ITV3 2:50 (1987)

      See Sweet William #5 above.

      1. Thanks – recording yesterday’s 3d now, mainly because of John Thaw! Still not very sure about 8d – how did the man get in there?

  6. I will admit to having awarded this very nice Virgilius puzzle 5* for fun but in order not to upset Stan, I won’t say what I gave it for difficulty, and he will never know because it’s Gnomey’s turn to blog this one :)

    14a has to be the top favourite amongst many lovely clues.

    1. CS, I would be very surprised if “difficulty” was in your vocabulary when it comes to solving cryptic crosswords. I’m completely in awe of anyone who can solve and then give such an entertaining review for last Friday’s Elgar!

      Jealousy is a terrible thing! Sorry!

      Regards, Stan. :smile:

      1. Be surprised then Stan. Some of the setters of the Indy puzzles, especailly Bannsider, keep me flummoxed for days!

  7. PS Don’t understand the second word of 17d either – brain really not working too well today! :sad: Dare I try the NTSPP?

    1. The NTSPP is tricky in places, even Prolixic found it so yesterday morning, and he set it back in February :)

  8. Really enjoyed this one thanks to setter and BD. Can anyone help me with 26a? I have an answer but can’t see the word play.


    1. 26a Rook and duck protected by another bird – or another (5)
      The abbreviation (in chess) for rook plus the letter that looks like a duck in cricket go inside (protected by) another bird.

    2. 26a – the (chess) abbreviation for Rook, and what duck might symbolise in a sporting nature, go inside (protected by) another type of bird to give the answer.

  9. I had dreadful trouble with this one, till I realised I’d put 9d in 6d’s squares, having got that stupidity out of the way it all settled down quite nicely, as always a lovely fun puzzle from Virgilius for which thanks.

    Thanks to BD for the hints.

    1. How the hell did you manage to fit a fourteen letter answer into a five letter space? Confused of Oxford!!

      1. Mrs T and I put that answer in 5d… foxed us for a while.
        Rainy here in Boston, back to Medinah soon – we are getting worried that Ian Poulter will get exophthalmos. Thanks to all for the ‘ints.

  10. Really enjoying this one, some excellent clues such as 23a and 24d. But stuck on last two 20a and 21d ( have an answer for this but can’t see why. Any help would be much appreciated. Thx to the setter for an excellent workout.

    1. Re 21 – try splitting your answer 3,4 for ‘possible cause of drunken brawl’ and see if it fits the defintion, ‘a lot of gunfire’

    2. 20a Form of communication Conservative accomplished (5)
      The one-letter abbreviation for Conservative is followed by an adjective meaning accomplished or talented.

    3. Thx for the help Guys but I must be being particulary thick today. My answer for 21d does give lots of gunfire but even split 3 & 4 it has nothing to do with a brawl. This will probably get me sent to the naughty step but I have a 3 letter word for conflict and a 4 letter word for food but what that has to do with brawl is beyond me. Also a 4 letter word for talented? Who knows! Not me.

      1. Just seen 20a, if it had said archaic form of communication I would have got it.which gives me 21d, nothing to do with warfare then -:).
        Thx chaps, much appreciated.

  11. Enjoyed this one mostly, didn’t realise 8d was called a man? fav clue 25a, lots of others I liked too, horrible wet day here today, what a difference a day makes… as the song goes

  12. Very enjoyable. 22d I only got using electronic aid but still don;t understand it even with the clue! Also 2D…I have the answer, I think, but don;t know why! Ditto 18 !!!

    1. 2d Pressure showing in, for example, cricket test (7)
      The single-character abbreviation for pressure goes inside what a cricket is an example of.

    2. 22d Periods of good fortune – excited, as a result (6)
      It’s periods of good fortune (3) followed by excited (3).

  13. Late input from me – was at my daughter’s today.

    Nice puzzle Virgilius as ever!

    Faves : 4a, 14a, 25a, 27a, 2d, 7d, 17d & 21d.

  14. What unbelievable drama in the Ryder Cup! Europe had no chance at all and they’ve only gone and won it!

    1. Amazing – one of the most astonishing sporting feats I have ever seen ! I have just dashed a letter off to the DT – won’t be printed of course ! suggesting that as the Americans had done away with all the rough so that they could clout the ball anywhere – and it didn’t help them, next time they might consider chopping down all the trees, filling in all the bunkers and having holes the size of buckets ! Unbelievable achievement ! What a year of sport ! England in the 20/20s now ??

        1. A great result for Spurs, Man U beaten and a Liverpool win. Good weekend all round!

            1. No allegiances there Dave but some very good football games. English football getting a lot more interesting.

      1. I can only agree – an astonishing comeback.
        Also thanks to V for a great puzzle (if over quite quickly) and to BD for the hints.

  15. Thanks to Virgilius & to Big Dave for the hints. Usual great entertainment from Virgilius. I thought 2* for difficulty & 4* for enjoyment. Too many Favourites to list. Started with 1a, finished with 15a. I was held up a bit because I had account for 15d, but then spotted my mistake.

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