ST 2503

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2503

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

I lost my original copy of this, but think it took a little longer than usual, as I’d entered quite a convincing red herring answer at 8D and had to correct this to get 4A – ?O?S?S?T didn’t look any more likely than ?O?S?S?R

1 Swallow mushroom, in turn (6)
ACCEPT – cep=mushroom in turn=act (in music hall and the like)
4 Take care of properties in theatres with it (8)
HOUSESIT – HOUSES=theatres,IT – I doubt I was the only one trying to add the theatres to something like “hip”
10 Drink made from stuff that’s sold in bars (9)
CHOCOLATE – CD playing on multiple meaning of bars – an old chestnut, but it bears repeating
11 Plants left in public squares (5)
FLORA – L in FORA = pl. of forum
12 Cost of stocking river with some swans (7)
EXPENSE – PENS = (females) swans in the river EXE
13 Honest, though not on the level (7)
UPRIGHT – 2 defs
14 Words specifically used for parts of year (5)
TERMS – 2 defs – parts of the academic year
15 In area, is living (8)
18 Recording device misused in test case (8)
CASSETTE = anag. of “test case”
20 Addition to fare from Italy is nothing more than nuisance (5)
23 It can put extra energy in horse (7)
CHARGER – 2 defs
25 Defender in squad initially one of the losers (not a keeper) (7)
SWEEPER – S=”squad initially”,WEEPER as in “finders keepers, losers weepers”
26 Sign of Barbie’s dedication? (5)
TOKEN = “To Ken”
27 Cross put in ground by religious group (9)
INTERSECT – INTER = “put in ground”,SECT
28 Social gathering – note, male person’s kept outside (3,5)
HEN PARTY – HE=male,N=note,PARTY=person
29 Data about university’s prestige (6)
1 Old people that could be confused, for instance (8)
ANCIENTS = anag. of instance – excellent misleading use of “for instance”
2 Aircraft improperly used by Washington? (7)
CHOPPER – def. and cryptic def., the latter referring to the fable of the cherry tree
3 Expert with good instincts making forecasts (9)
PROGNOSES – PRO=expert,G=good,NOSES=instincts
5 Educational institution centred on poet and economist (4,10)
OPEN UNIVERSITY – an indirect cryptic def, the O.U. being based at Milton (poet) Keynes (economist). The indirectness is very welcome for those who’ve seen John and John Maynard together many times in clues for MILTON KEYNES.
6 To date, get love seat, right? (2,3)
SO FAR = SOFA,R – COED tells me that a love seat ia a sofa made in an S shape so that people can face each other, as if a normal sofa wasn’t cosy enough for amorous purposes
7 Weapon military commander deployed over time (7)
8 Where pigs may be taken is warm (6)
TOASTY = TO A STY – my problem was that I thoughtof pigs being taken to roasts = “is warm”.
9 Producer of pictures people look down on, by the way (8,6)
PAVEMENT ARTIST – nicely done cryptic def.
16 With respect to changes, known to select few (3,6)
TOP SECRET = anag. of “respect to”. Some may quibble about “With changes” but it dind’t bother me.
17 Organisation briefly judges philosopher (8)
19 Person in isolated state unfortunately can, we hear (7)
ALASKAN = alas, “can”
21 Somehow ape isn’t as wise as man (7)
SAPIENT = anag. of “ape isn’t” – def refers to “homo sapiens” = wise man.
22 Effectively put end to national spirit (6)
SCOTCH – 2 defs, or 3 if you split “national spirit” into two
24 Leader of gourmets turned up excellent port (5)
GENOA = G, slightly cheeky reversal of “A-one” = A1 = excellent


  1. tonyp17
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply


    You will notice that you are missing an ‘s’ from the answer to 18A.

    Once I had the benefit of the hints to get me started I thoroughly enjoyed solving the remaining clues.

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