ST Cryptic No 2478 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST Cryptic No 2478 – Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2478 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

Another hard but satisfying Sunday puzzle, although I do feel that when the first letter is unchecked in 20 of the answers, out of a total of 28,  it does make for a difficult puzzle.


7a A little worried, enters to accept the bribe (9)
SWEETENER – read this as – a little / worried, enters to accept / the bribe; and you get WEE (a Scottish word for little) inside (to accept) an anagram (worried) of ENTERS to give this bribe

8a Shut up and do likewise. That’s the form (5)
SHAPE – a charade of SH (shut up) and APE (do likewise) give this form

10a Contend it holds fifty when full (8)
COMPLETE – COMPETE (contend around (it holds) L (fifty in Roman numerals) gives a word meaning full

11a The new figure entered, enter wrongly (6)
RECENT – ignore the surface reading – the new / figure entered / enter wrongly – a word meaning new comes from C (a figure / 100 in Roman numerals in this case) inside (entered) an anagram (wrongly) of ENTER

12a I get out of it and go off for a jog (4)
TROT – yet again, ignore the surface reading – (I)T (I get out of IT) and ROT (go off) give another word for a jog

13a Getting the idea it’s greedy (8)
GRASPING – a double definition

15a Fit out our own for trials and tribulations (7)
RIGOURS – a charade of  RIG (fit out) and OURS (our own) for these trials and tribulations

17a Censor ‘Make a Killing’ (5,2)
CLEAN UP – again a double definition

20a The pill’s ground for one to swallow. It smells pungent (8)
ALLSPICE – an anagram (ground) of PILL’S inside (for … to swallow) ACE (one) gives another name for pimento (or Jamaica pepper), supposed to combine the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves

22a Getting someone to do your work is a bad habit (4)
VICE – one half of this double definition is a cryptic reference to posts like vice-chairman and vice-president

25a Cross one by one this time (6)
TWELVE – a description of XII – I loved this elegant play on the Roman numerals at twelve o’clock

26a Includes giving half of them supports (8)
EMBRACES – this word meaning includes comes from (TH)EM (half of thEM) and BRACES (supports)

27a By mid-June, tie the knot. Marry (5)
UNITE – UN (mid-JUNe)  and an anagram (the knot) of TIE give a word meaning to marry –the anagram indicator just about works because of the context

28a He must leave here and now to deputise for (9)
REPRESENT – (HE)RE (he must leave here) and PRESENT (now) combine to give a synonym of to deputise for


1d Chucking the snow ball in, collapse (5)
SWOON – chucking here signals an anagram of SNOW around O (ball) to give a fainting fit (collapse) of the kind that used to happen when the Beatles played live!

2d Will it buck you up in a shake? (6)
PEPPER – a double definition that only just works

3d Watch someone performing an encore (8)
REPEATER – another double definition – on the one hand a repeater watch and on the other someone repeating part of their performance

4d Never gets upset, for instance, by reverses. Is sweet (7)
REVENGE – an anagram (gets upset) of NEVER then EG (for instance) reversed leads us to the saying that “revenge is sweet” – perhaps an allusion to the proverb “revenge is a dish that is best served cold” would have made it too obvious

5d Pick out in each group the leguminous plant (8)
CHICKPEA – a pair of anagrams of PICK (out) inside EACH (group) gives this leguminous plant

6d Speaking out and admitting (7,2)
OPENING UP – a straightforward double definition

9d A time of recession in the region (4)
AREA – A ERA (a time) reversed (of recession) gives a region

14d Making waves on finding the account unpaid (9)
BILLOWING – such a simple charade of BILL (account) and OWING (unpaid) but it works well and gives a word meaning making waves

16d Old hat only brought in to be re-blocked (8)
OBSOLETE – this word meaning outdated, or old hat, comes from putting SOLE (only) inside an anagram (to be re-blocked) of TO BE

18d Recognisable by its passionate singing? (8)
LOVEBIRD – a cryptic definition alluding to this bird and to a romantically inclined person

19d It’s hard. The number is disconnected (7)
SEVERED – it seems strange that a word meaning hard should have such a different meaning by simply adding D (500), our third Roman numeral of the day!

21d A newspaperman, I back the scheme (4)
IDEA – A ED (editor / newspaperman) and  I reversed (back) give this scheme

23d One runabout. It’s an old vehicle (6)
CHAISE – CHASE (run) around (about) I (one) gives an old light open carriage – you are, of course, intended to think that run = r

24d The way to make money (5)
MEANS – we end on a double definition – not so straightforward until you manage to work it out

These puzzles have a lot of padding to increase the surface reading, sometimes at the expense of accuracy.  As a self-confessed pedant, I can’t make up my mind if this is good or bad – why not have your say?

1 comment on “ST Cryptic No 2478 – Review

  1. Just for once I did the Sunday Tel puzzle, but it confirmed why it’s a puzzle I prefer to avoid. I don’t mind initial unchecked letters, but do mind “underchecking” (2 rather than 3 letters out of 5 for example), and that happens 12 times in this grid.

    Three examples where the padding is unfair, I think:

    7A “A wee”: wee meaning little is an adjective, so “a wee” cannot mean the right thing because articles (a or the) are attached to nouns. (It can be a noun as in the phrase “bide a wee”, but then it means a short time.)

    11A: Same issue – recent is an adjective, not a noun. New is not a noun in the dictionary, though you just might remember the TV series and book “The Shock of the New”. If the alternative title “The Shock of Recent” made sense, then the clue would be OK.

    1D: “Chucking the snow”. I don’t think it’s fair to expect solvers to realise that the cryptic meaning is actually “Chucking snow”.

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