Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2500
A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment *****
As expected, this puzzle was a bit out of the ordinary. At least in the online version, it was accompanied by a warning message attached to the first across and down clues: “WARNING: Two answers in this special 2500th puzzle require numbers as well as letters. The figure zero must be entered as a capital O.” This spoiled any possible surprise but I guess it was necessary for clarity when completing entries online.
Our Sunday setter specialises in thematic puzzles when writing as Virgilius or Brendan, so it’s no surprise that the thematic element here is handled elegantly – each of the Across rows in the grid has one word in the theme, which is clarified by the clue for 28A.
The thematic stuff led to some strange words elsewhere but solvers seem to have found even the one that’s not a proper English word – or so some of us thought – see below.