ST 2492 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2492 – Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2492 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

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

Yet another excellent Sunday puzzle – if you don’t do these you are missing out.


1a Gold components used in circuits (6)
ORBITS – a charade of OR (gold) and BITS (components) leads to circuits, of planets around the sun for example

4a Artist carrying back very old pie (8)
TURNOVER – just put artist Joseph Mallord William Turner around the abbreviations for Very and Old, but reversed, and you get a British dessert

10a Divided about drug being not serious (9)
FACETIOUS – put FACTIOUS around the drug E(cstasy) to get a synonym for not serious – out of interest, this answer is one of a handful of words in the English language that contain all five vowels in alphabetical order!

11a Politician and his party damaged by charge (5)
GORED – a charade of Al GORE and D(emocrat) gives the damage that could be done by a charging bull


12a Take a lot of cash or money for messenger released from cell (7)
HORMONE – this internal secretion that, on reaching some part of a plant or animal body, exercises a specific physiological action (messenger released from cell) is hidden inside (take a lot of) casH OR MONEy

13a Eastern region in which sailors reach journey’s end (7)
TARTARY – this tract of northern and central Asia stretching from the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean (Eastern region) comes from TAR TAR (sailors) and Y (journeY‘s end)

14a I.e. get that vehicle out of here! (2,3)
TO WIT – a synonym for i.e. (id est / that is) could also be TOW IT (get that vehicle out of here)

15a Point from which to start or end in court (8)
BASELINE – a cryptic definition with a tennis flavour

18a Curse old woman put on every article (8)
ANATHEMA – this curse is built up from AN and A (both of the indefinite articles) and THE (the definite article), all before MA (old woman)

20a Educational achievement, so elementary (5)
BASIC – a charade of BA (Arts graduate / educational achievement) followed by SIC (thus, so in Latin) gives a word meaning elementary

23a Remote area revealed to be better (7)
OUTBACK – a remote area that is, again, a charade of OUT (revealed) and BACK (to be better / to place a bet)

25a Some brutally honest call that leads to a death (5-2)
TALLY-HO – hidden inside (some) bruTALLY HOnest there is a call that leads to a death, usually of a fox

“John Peel”

D’ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay,
D’ye ken John Peel at the break of day,
D’ye ken John Peel when he’s far away,
With his hounds and his horn in the morning.

For the sound of his horn brought me from my bed
And the cry of his hounds which he oft times led,
Peel’s ‘view hullo’ would awaken the dead
Or the fox from his lair in the morning.

Yes I ken John Peel and Ruby too
Ranter and Ringwood and Bellman and True,
From a find to a check, from a check to a view
From a view to a death in the morning

Then here’s to John Peel with my heart and soul
Let’s drink to his health, let’s finish the bowl,
We’ll follow John Peel through fair and through foul
If we want a good hunt in the morning.

26a The force needs to put one inside (5)
THIEF – THE F(orce) with I (one) inside – an all-in-one that doesn’t quite work for me

27a Like a well-made kite, suitable for Auntie? (9)
AIRWORTHY – a double definition where Auntie is the BBC, so it’s AIR WORTHY

28a Valid status of cricket side settled before close of play (8)
LEGALITY – this valid status is a charade of LEG (cricket side, opposite to off) and ALIT (settled, in the sense of perched) before Y (close of play)

29a Old star you heard has gone – he was worshipped at one time (6)
OSIRIS – a charade of O(ld) and SIRI(U)S (the Dog Star) but without the U (you, heard, has gone) gives an Egyptian god


1d A bit of a bad egg, and somewhat yellow, perhaps (3-5)
OFF-WHITE – a bit of a double definition!

2d Rugby players furthest away from the play? (4,3)
BACK ROW – the BACK ROW of the scrum and the BACK ROW of the theatre, an excellent double definition

3d Balanced reaction involving change of heart (3,3,3)
TIT FOR TAT – change the heart of TIT into TAT for this balanced reaction

5d Works holding up faulty units as not good enough (14)
UNSATISFACTORY – here we have FACTORY underneath (holding up – a down-clu only construct) an anagram (faulty) of UNITS AS

6d Monarch almost overthrown to create republic (5)
NIGER – the monarch is REGIN(A) without the A (almost) and when reversed gives a republic in Africa

7d Medicinal plant short-lived king used without success? (7)
VERVAIN – many thanks to dr b for gist of this explanation:

The short-lived king is Edward V, who reigned from 9 April – 22 June 1483, and is believed to have died before his fifteenth birthday; without success is in vain.
Put ER V in V..AIN to get a medicinal plant that was believed to have been used to treat Jesus’s wounds.

8d Cheap drink provided by fly-by-night operator? (3-3)
RED-EYE – a double definition of two Americanisms

9d Early meeting of consumers quickly following electricity cut (5,9)
POWER BREAKFAST – two cryptic definitions, the second one being FAST (quickly) after POWER BREAK (electricity cut)

16d Illegally attacking with weapon more powerful than sword (9)
LIBELLOUS – to LIBEL is to make an untrue accusation in writing and, as we all know, the pen is mightier than the sword

17d A friend with medical degree making inventions such as laser (8)
ACRONYMS – a charade of A CRONY (a friend) and MS (Master of Surgery / medical degree) gives a name for those words which are made up from other words, like laser is from Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation

19d Something sweet, meaning love (7)
NOTHINGS – this double definition is a cue for a song:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21d One who dishonestly advocates taking part in mass hysteria (7)
SHYSTER – this dishonest person is hidden inside (taking part in) masS HYSTERia

22d Well-behaved, over time, like all of us (6)
MORTAL – put MORAL (well-behaved) around T(ime) to get what all of us are

24d In accordance with the rules, first sent off for foul (5)
AWFUL – take away from (L)AWFUL its first letter (first sent off) to get something that is foul