ST 2637 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2637 (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           Quarrel resulting from formal clause, being oddly selective (6)
This quarrel comes from the odd letters of two words in the clue

25a         Crazy lead, for example, taking in North (6)
This adjective meaning crazy is derived by putting the type of material of which lead is an example around N(orth)


1d           Novel funeral I miss in Berlin (8)
An anagram (novel) of FUNERAL I gives a young lady (miss) in Berlin or elsewhere in Germany

21d         Person who flies a kite as test of audience response (5)
This person who flies, be it a kite or an aeroplane, is also a television or radio programme made to test audience response with a view to the production of a series

More hints can be found in the comments, but this was one of Virgilius’s easier Sunday puzzles.

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 Andre Agassi (42), Uma Thurman (42), Michelle Pfeiffer (54) and Daniel Day Lewis (55)


  1. Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    A shining beacon of delight in an extremely wet (nearly one and a half inches of rain in 24 hours) grey, nasty Sunday morning. Thanks once again to Virgilius for a superb start to the day – on the straightforward side but excellent entertainment. And I have the fun of enjoying it twice to do the review, even if everyone will have forgotten all about the crossword by the time the closing date/blog publishing date arrives. Lots of favourites today – I particularly smiled at the relevant wordplay of 12a and 16a.

  2. Colmce
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Mind block, a hint for 12a, 5d, please.
    The rest of the puzzle went in with no probs.

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      12a The rescue craft is one we could do with today. An anagram of made followed by a bird of prey and then the rescue craft gives us an American song bird.
      5d an old name for a British solider refers to a proverbial way we might celebrate.

      • Colmce
        Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks CS, all is now clear, not helped by misspelling 6d, big fingers small keyboard.

        Sky is clearing here, hints of blue in the sky :)

        • Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          Now you come to mention it, the sky does appear to be clearing slightly over in your direction. Hopefully it will move over this way too.

          I particuarly liked 6d btw.

      • Kath
        Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        I thought that 5d was referring to the bit of the clue “applied to town for celebration” – going out and “painting the town pink”. Or maybe that’s what you meant, in which case, sorry!

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

          It is a cryptic definition to get you to the the name for the old soldier – never heard the expression with ‘pink’ before – are things tamer your way? :D

          • Kath
            Posted April 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Yes – I knew the old soldier bit, but was also trying to justify the rest of the clue. Don’t think things are tamer here – but perhaps the first three letters of the answer has been so diluted by all the rain that it’s now pink! :smile:

  3. Jezza
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Another fine Sunday puzzle with some cleverly disguised definitions. Favourite clue 15d.
    Thanks to Virgilius, and to BD.

  4. Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Certainly less difficult than what we have come to expect from our Sunday Setter, but still very enjoyable and satisfying, with some nice twists.
    Particularly liked 15d. Have I missed something in 24a – I can only think of one word that half fits the clue, but just not 100% sure.

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      A word relating to court cases (3) with another three letter word meaning an extreme inserted – ‘happening’ doesn’t really mean event here :D

  5. salopangel
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Fine except for24a: still struggling with that!

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi salopangel – welcome to the blog.
      In 2012 London is the happening place to be!

      • Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        I have been stuck singing that 1960s song ‘the happening’ by the Supremes ever since I read the clue at 8 o’clock this morning :D

      • Weekend wanda
        Posted April 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Clue fits together nicely. Like others I was not convinced by the end result but it’s a generational thing I thing! Finished apart from 11a – sure there’s an obvious answer but currently eluding me!

        • Kath
          Posted April 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          .. pretend that there is no hyphen! :smile:

          • Posted April 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            ????? – or see my hint below :)

            • Kath
              Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

              Sorry – didn’t see your hint below before I said that. I thought the hyphen was deliberately misleading us so ….

  6. Kath
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was fairly straightforward for a Sunday. The only one that stopped me was 24a – had put in what is hinted at above but wasn’t very sure – I suppose “happening” means “in vogue” in this case. Very enjoyable crossword with lots of great clues but, for me anyway, fairly quick to solve – will have to find something else to do now as it’s STILL raining! Favourites include 11 and 16a and 3, 6, 7 …. oh dear, too many down clues to carry on!! With thanks to Virgilius and BD.

  7. Tony
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Still raining here in Lunnun, I’d rather be in 8a! But it’s always the last little bit…2d and 11a are driving me to drink…

    • Weekend wanda
      Posted April 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      2d if you put the abbreviation for minute inside two words meaning to some extent you get the answer meaning compass or scope. I still can’t help with 11a

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      11a is a double definition – music-related for the first one – and then pad is an informal term for a dwelling place with the same name as the note.

      • Weekend wanda
        Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. I feel stupid. Had thought about music but not that meaning for pad

        • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          It took me a while too

    • Tony
      Posted April 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Thanks C and WW.

  8. Addicted
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Please can I have a hint for 16a – thought I had it, but it doesn’t fit with 6d!

    • Weekend wanda
      Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      It’s made up of a 5 letter word followed by a 7 letter word. First word public or open. Second word is showering or what it is doing today. Result is what Olympic candidates are likely to be doing

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      A five letter word for public or open followed by a 7 letter word for showering or what the weather is doing today gives you a word for doing to much preperation for excercise

      • Weekend wanda
        Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        How could two people give such similar hints at precisely the same time without collaboration!

        • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          if I hadn’t changed the wording for ‘what the weather is doing today’ it would have been exactly the same, amazing! :-)

          • Addicted
            Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            Brilliant, both of you – obviously a case of “great minds… etc..” Many thanks – now have it. Will I be censored for saying what I did have? “Overexposure” – I thought it fitted rather nicely!!!

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      6d – the ‘common’ where the wombles may play tennis??

  9. Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Not too much of a challenge but enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks to V & to BD as per.

    Just got back from taking Mrs S to her mother’s up in t’North and the motorways are atrocious. Looks like the Trent is about to burst its banks in Newark.

  10. Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Having problem getting into comment box again,

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Trying again, a two to three star for me today, two fav clues 23a and 6d,

      • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for hints Dave, though I didn’t need them today :-)

  11. Brian
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Wonderfuluzzle on this dreadful day. One question, I think I have the right answer to 24a (last one in) but I wonder if someone could explain it.

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      three letter synonym for extreme inside three letter synonym for hear (as in court) gives you this 6 letter synonym for happening, apparently, though I’ve never heard it used like this!

      • Posted April 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Surely you remember ‘hip and happening’ in the 1960s. Mind you they do say if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there :D

        • Posted April 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          hip yes, happening – don’t remember that and yes I was there :-)

    • Brian
      Posted April 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Thx Mary so it was the right answer!

  12. Geoff Marbella
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    IS 14 down what makes an old fashioned timepiece tick?

    • Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Think more in terms of direction…

    • Weekend wanda
      Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      The short answer is no but you are on the right track with timepiece.

  13. Addicted
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Finally finished. It doesn’t pay to put in a wrong answer, as I did for 16a as that then meant 18d was wrong as well – I had “pootled” which means unhurriedly and is an anagram of old and poet, so I was quite happy about it!!! Hey ho. Thanks to setter for some fun and BD, Mary & Kath for help.

    • Kath
      Posted April 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit with anything else I really like “pootled”! :smile:

  14. Geoff Marbella
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Right got that but could you offer a hint for 19D – rainy day here in Marbella and need some stimulus to get going

    • Weekend wanda
      Posted April 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      You are looking for a kind of igneous rock made up of two sailors – one of which is going backwards

  15. Geoff Marbella
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Got it and that finishes final corner – next thing watch Nadal thrash Ferrer in Barcelona – hope their weather is better than here

  16. upthecreek
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    A thoroughly entertaining puzzle on a thoroughly lousy day. Thought 15 was brilliant and 1d 12 16 and 25 were not far short. Only poor clue was 24 which did not read right. When are they going to stop hiding the Sunday puzzle in all the throwaway innards?

  17. Derek
    Posted April 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Another pleasant end of week puzzle from Virgilius.
    Liked : 8a, 12a, 22a, 24a, 5d, 9d, 15d & 19d.

    Re 14d, models have been made which go the other way round but they are for collectors mainly.
    A magnificent collection of normal and odd models is at the Clapham Clock Museum at Whangarei, NZ so if ever you are down under go have a look there.

  18. Posted April 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Another fine puzzle – I was otherwise engaged yesterday so couldn’t make a comment but my thanks to Virgilius and to BD

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