ST 2568 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2568

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2568

Oh Yes It Is!

A full review by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hi everyone

I’ve volunteered to take on blogging the Sunday puzzle, so barring trips to you-know-where, I’ll be here to review this excellent Sunday Telegraph challenge each week.

Thanks to Peter Biddlecombe for his sterling work in this slot and I wish him every success in his new role. He is an absolutely perfect choice for the post. I’m sure a few of his rivals for the Times Crossword Championship will also be pleased that he will presumably no longer be taking part as a result.

Back to the puzzle. This was published on Boxing Day and obviously had an extended deadline, because of the holidays. It was a fine tonic after the mind stretching of Elgar’s Christmas Day Enigmatic Toughie, although I have a minor grumble.


1a    Piano I put in club converted by jazz singer — chance for all to relax (6,7)
PUBLIC HOLIDAY    After working this clue out, I thought we had a mistake because I was convinced that the singer’s name was Billie Holliday! However a check with several sources happily revealed I was wrong and our setter was right! The clue comprises P (public) added to an anagram of CLUB with I inside. On to this is added our jazz singer’s surname and it gives you the name given to days when (most of) the population are not working.

And I give you…..

8a    Knowledge internal to government department (4)
INFO    A wordsum. IN (internal) + FO (abbreviation for Foreign Office)

9a    Withdrawal symptoms we may get the day after Christmas? (4,6)
COLD TURKEY    One of several topical clues. A double definition with the second cryptic. What a drug addict goes through coming off drugs and a pretty bland way of dealing with the leftover Christmas dinner meat. Here’s a much better way:-

10a    The law broken on open land in Australia, say (12)
COMMONWEALTH    A word for open land (COMMON) takes an anagram (broken) of THE LAW, which leads to the group of which Australia is a part, although for how long who knows?

12a    Let down badly in paid post (10)
DISAPPOINT An anagram (badly) if IN PAID POST leads you to a word meaning to let someone down.

16a    Get as reward leading part of Abenazar in theatre (4)
REAP     A type of theatre is repertory, or REP and in that goes the first letter (leading part) of Abanazar (the villain in a well-known 1 down).

17a    Exited right? On the contrary (4)
LEFT     Double Definition clue. A word meaning exited, with the remainder of the clue another definition of the solution. It also makes a nice all-in-one as well.

18a    Novel recalled about popular rags-to-riches story (10)
CINDERELLA    An anagram (indicated by “Novel”)of RECALLED around IN (popular)

19a    In that sense, improperly seizing power creates today’s martyr (5,7)
SAINT STEPHEN        An anagram (improperly) of IN THAT SENSE with P inserted gives the name of the person whose feast is celebrated on December 26th

24a    Fighting confusion, so to speak, in times like the present (6,4)
BOXING DAYS     A word for fighting added to a homophone for a form of confusion gives the other name for 19 ac’s festival occasions.

25a    Part of Christmas scene family organised (4)
TREE When scanning through this, I nearly fell for a (probably unintentional) trick that it was a hidden answer and entered Mass, however it’s a double definition. Part of Christmas in most houses, and how your family may be organised genealogically.

26a    What happens in sales, for example, gets GNP prophesies revised (8,5)
SHOPPING SPREE Rule number one in crosswords is always to read the clue properly, and this time I didn’t, which meant I entered SPENDING SPREE first. When I realised the down clue didn’t intersect, I reread the clue and realised it was an anagram of GNP PROPHESIES, which meant that SPENDING became SHOPPING. D’oh!


1d    Criticize big books I’m into for seasonal entertainments (10)
PANTOMIMES If you criticize something, you PAN it, and add word for big volumes of books(TOMES) with I’M inside to lead you to shows seen at this time of the year

2d    Protecting pound, become prosperous and flourish (5)
BLOOM     If you become rich, you can be said to do this, and inside BOOM goes (L for pound) to reveal a word meaning flourish.

3d    Like some South Americans, having been filmed (5)

INCAN     When a film is complete it’s said to be this, a two word phrase more usually split by the word THE. Put the two words together and you get the name to describe some people from ancient South American.

4d    Hold about fifty to share with another (5)
HALVE    A word meaning hold has L (fifty) inside and produces one that means split in two.

5d    Smallest piggy allowed nothing within brood, mostly (6,3)
LITTLE TOE The smallest piggy comes from LET O (allowed nothing) inside LITTE(R), most of a word meaning brood.

6d    It’s not fair, panto animal being unknown quantity (4,5)
DARK HORSE I thought it a bit odd that half of the answer to 1d is given in this clue. The opposite to fair is added to the name of a comedy creature found in 1d. This gives me an excuse to post this!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d    All right to include very short Frenchman, so-called? (4)
YVES    When you say “all right” in response to a question it usually means this. Insert V (very, short) and you get a French male name. Think of Monsieur Montand.

11d    Something put on tomb, say, to honour US patriot (4,6)
PAUL REVERE    The name of a cloth put over a coffin or tomb. An attendant at a funeral is known as a ___ BEARER. A homophone of this is added to a word meaning honour or respect. This gives you the name of a famous American patriot.

13d    Partly to miss it, landing up pitched very high (9)
ALTISSIMO Hidden in “to miss it, landing” and reversed (up) is a phrase meaning “high-pitched” in musical terms. Clever clue.

14d    Improving, having drunk gin in truck (7,2)
PICKING UP The name for a type of truck, mainly used in the US, has an anagram of GIN inside to mean recovering, as I am at the moment!

15d    Local, perhaps, appearing in Aladdin nightly (3)
INN Another hidden answer; this time the name of a pub or local, inside “Aladdin nightly”

20d    Old couple having tea, we hear — on the wagon (5)
TWAIN A one-letter homophone of Tea goes onto the name for a cart (think Constable’s Hay vehicle!), and this gives an old word for two.

21d    Conclusions drawn from what judge says at Christmas trials (5)
TESTS The last letters of “what judge says at Christmas

22d    Young hero (with start of 1 down) is safe (5)
PETER    It seemed odd that 1 down was used here rather than panto, and not in other clues. The start of the answer is of course PAN and the famous hero with that surname’s Christian name is needed. His name when used as an adjective can mean safe.

23d    What villains may get to drink, so to speak (4)
{BOOS} When you go to a 1 down, part of the fun is the reaction of the audience to the bad guy, what they do is a homophone of an American word for drink.

An enjoyable puzzle, although perhaps the 1 down should have been consistently used, but it’s a small point. Thanks to our setter and I’ll be back with last Sunday’s puzzle tomorrow.