ST 2496 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2496 – Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2496 – Review

A crossword for connoisseurs ~ a full analysis by Big Dave

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

Another excellent puzzle with good surface reading throughout.  A few minor quibbles, which are detailed below.

At the bottom of the post you will see an array of five stars – use these to 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.


1a Get names wrong, having mixed briefly with everyone (7)
MISCALL – a word meaning to get names wrong is a charade of MISC (abbreviation for miscellaneous / mixed, briefly) and ALL (everyone)

5a One way to make the most of gold accumulation (7)
BACKLOG – one way to create BACKLOG (accumulation) is to reverse, or BACK, most of the word GOL(D)

9a Regard tools as things children can have fun with (7)
SEESAWS – a charade of SEE (regard) and SAWS (tools) gives these things children can have fun with

10a Mistreated as Roman galley slave, for example (7)
OARSMAN – an anagram (mistreated) of AS ROMAN gives a galley slave, for example

11a Both he and she start with one – not I (9)
CONSONANT – He and She start with consonants, but I starts with a vowel

12a Benefit of something that may save face, say (5)
AVAIL – a word meaning to benefit sounds like (say) a veil (something that may save face)

13a Film actor penniless at first (5)
LAYER – a film that is (P)LAYER (actor) without the P (Penniless at first)

15a Queen receiving warning ahead of time, in short (9)
MOMENTARY – put Queens MARY around (receiving) OMEN (warning) and T(ime) for a word meaning short

17a They help their favourites in top sets, wrongly (9)
NEPOTISTS – these people who give precedence to relatives (help their favourites) are an anagram (wrongly) of IN TOP SETS

19a Fare from Italy by air, initially (5)
PASTA – Italian food (fare from Italy) is a charade of PAST (by) and A (Air, initially)

22a Last piece of concert on radio is dance music (5)
TANGO – T (last piece of concerT) in the phonetic alphabet (on radio)

23a Admit into golf club closer to the sea (9)
DOWNRIVER – put OWN (admit) inside DRIVER (golf club) and you are closer to the sea

25a From tyrant, I guarded island (7)
ANTIGUA – hidden inside (from) tyrANT, I GUArded is this Caribbean Island

26a American hero accepting second defeat? Just the opposite (7)
REVERSE – put Paul REVERE (American hero) around (accepting) S(econd) to get another word for either a defeat or the opposite – I’m not sure that this works as a triple definition and the final three words appear to be superfluous

27a Trees that will decay, finally, before all the others (7)
FIRSTLY – follow FIRS (trees) with T L and Y, the last letters (finally) of thaT wilL decaY to get a word that means before all the others

28a Enticingly offered divine fish inside (7)
DANGLED – a synonym for enticingly offered is derived by putting DD (divine) around ANGLE (to fish) – DD is an abbreviation for Deo dedit (gave to God) or Divinitatis Doctor (Doctor of Divinity), neither of which seem to give divine [but see Gazza’s comment below]


1d False claim about a lot of states, such as Oklahoma! (7)
MUSICAL – an anagram (false) of CLAIM is placed around US (the country that has a lot of states) to get the genre of stage show of which Oklahoma is an example

2d Behind and extremely lazy, admonished thus? (7)
STERNLY – combine STERN (behind) and LY (extremely LazY) to get the way you might be admonished for being behind and extremely lazy

3d Contribution to total amount for ill-fated mission (5)
ALAMO – hidden inside (contribution to) totAL AMOunt is this ill-fated mission that claimed the lives of several of the legendary names of its era

4d Spring in a small resort? Quite a big one, actually (3,6)
LAS PALMAS – put SPA (spring) inside an anagram (resort) of A SMALL to get this large resort in the Canary Islands

5d Encouragement good person got, following negative response (5)
BOOST – a synonym for for encouragement is derived by putting ST (saint / good person) after BOO (negative response)

6d You reportedly train specially, entering contest and beginning to play (7-2)
CURTAIN-UP – put U, sounds like (reportedly) you, and an anagram (specially) of TRAIN inside CUP (contest) to get what happens at the theatre before the start of a play – does “specially” work as an anagram indicator?

7d Greek character holding a lively dance (7)
LAMBADA – LAMBDA (Greek character) around (holding) A gives this lively dance

8d Conspirator concealing bungled plan for use of weapons (7)
GUNPLAY – put GUY Fawkes (conspirator) around (concealing) an anagram (bungled) of PLAN to get a word meaning the use of weapons

14d Not altogether sure, though they had a second opinion (9)
RETHOUGHT – hidden inside (not altogether) suRE, THOUGH They is a word meaning had a second opinion

16d Fairest winner of all? (4,5)
MISS WORLD – a delightful cryptic definition …

17d Like the lion’s share? By no means (3,4)
NOT HALF – … and another

18d Gambler holding spades and joker (7)
PUNSTER – put PUNTER (gambler) around (holding) S(pades) to get this joker

20d Detach a line for divers (7)
SEVERAL – a charade of SEVER (detach) and A L(ine) gives a word meaning divers

21d Dunce making appearance before principal (7)
AIRHEAD – a dunce that is a charade of AIR (to make an appearance) and HEAD (principal)

23d Personal records, with assistance, set up on tracks (5)
DIARY – these personal records are derived from AID (assistance) reversed (set up) then RY (railway / tracks)

24d Headless chicken or other bird (5)
RAVEN – remove the first letter (headless) from (C)RAVEN (coward / chicken) to get another bird

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