Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2574
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
This was the perfect cryptic for a busy Sunday – didn’t take too long to solve but the wordplay was very enjoyable. There was a little muttering about a ‘chestnut’ but I prefer to think of such clues as old friends and I am not sure there actually were any this time. Thanks to Virgilius once again for another Sunday morning treat.
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1a Problem about English becoming advanced in electronics (2-4)
HI-TECH – advanced sophisticated electronic technology – insert E for English inside a small difficulty or problem, a HITCH.
4a Traveller’s to use more accurate scales, we hear (8)
WAYFARER – A very nice homophone – a traveller on foot or scales that “weigh fairer” ie more accurately.
10a Highly confidential, with respect to reforming (3-6)
TOP-SECRET – An anagram (reforming) of RESPECT TO produces a term meaning profoundly secret and of the highest importance. Chambers has this as two unhyphenated words.
11a Use bar to get purchase – return, and make merry (5)
REVEL – A LEVER is a bar used to lift something up or prise it open. Reverse the word and you can feast or make merry in a riotous manner.
12a Extremely unpleasant, that man will upset his union (7)
HELLISH – Very bad or severe, often relating to hell – HE (‘) LL (he will) followed by an anagram (upset) of HIS.
13a It’s a fault, being drained of energy, holding me back (7)
DEMERIT – insert (holding) ME into a word meaning drained of energy or TIRED and then reverse the lot to get a mark given for a fault or offence, usually at school or in the army. .
14a Light burden for unhappy lover (5)
TORCH – A nice double definition – either a handy light when you are in the dark or the TORCH metaphorically held by someone who is suffering from unrequited love.
15a More flexible about one’s source (8)
SUPPLIER – A source or provider of goods, water, electricity etc. Insert I (one) into a word meaning more lithe or flexible – SUPPLER.
18a Badly deceive, concealing new information in case (8)
EVIDENCE – testimony or information used in a criminal case would be EVIDENCE – an anagram (badly) of DECEIVE around (concealing) N (new).
20a Become successful, and travel a lot (2,3)
GO FAR – To go a long way, literally and figuratively.
23a Puzzle out article in his own language by composer (7)
UNRAVEL – To disentangle something . The French word for A (article) is UN and this would naturally be used by the composer RAVEL when speaking his own language.
25a Chess pieces support check (7)
SETBACK – All the pieces used in a game of chess are known as a SET. BACK means to help or support. Put them together to get a word meaning a check, reverse or relapse.
26a Winter sportsman shot high in the air (5)
SKIER – Another nice double definition – someone who skies in the winter or a cricket ball hit high into the air.
27a Drink that’s the opposite of 5, on paper (9)
SUNDOWNER – The paper is one of the red-topped dailies the SUN. 5 refers to 5d, the opposite to the solution of which would be a depressant drug or DOWNER. Combine the two and have an alcoholic drink after sunset.
28a Present during robberies, people not operating in good faith? (8)
ATHEISTS – People who don’t have faith or believe in the existence of a god split 2,6 might well be present at armed hold-ups or AT HEISTS.
29a Impassive team-leader in firm (6)
STOLID – An adjective meaning unemotional – put T for team inside SOLID, a synonym for firm.
1d Important people host put out repeatedly (8)
HOTSHOTS – These important people are an anagram (put out) of HOST and HOST (host repeatedly).
2d Drinker, one popular with bar staff, imbibing litre (7)
TIPPLER – a TIPPER – someone who tips would be popular with bar or other waiting staff; insert L for litre to get someone who drinks habitually.
3d To some extent, teacher is, he decided, treasured (9)
CHERISHED – a way of saying protected and treated with great affection is hidden (to some extent) inside teaCHER IS HE Decided.
5d Frantically disperse insect above and below – that should make you feel better (14)
ANTIDEPRESSANT – take one of crosswordland’s favourite insects the ANT. Follow this with an anagram (frantically) of DISPERSE and then another ANT (insect above and below [the anagram]). An ANTIDEPRESSANT drug should make you feel better.
6d Meeting-place for discussions class had outside university (5)
FORUM – a place where important topics were debated – Insert U (university) inside a FORM or [school] class.
7d Reading or writing European poetry? Just the opposite (7)
REVERSE – Reading is one of the three R’s so a charade of R plus E (European) and VERSE (poetry) makes synonym for opposite.
8d Recount can make Republican cheer (6)
RELATE – to narrate a story – R for Republication and ELATE (cheer in the sense of raise the spirits of).
9d Writers of music that one might get in bars (6,3,5)
BRAHMS AND LISZT – Rhyming slang for p****d or very drunk, as you might well be if you spent too long in a bar, is also the names of two famous composers of classical music.
16d Suddenly leaves in the dark after this (6,3)
LIGHTS OUT – The time at which lights are turned off at night, usually simultaneously in barracks or a boarding school, or an informal expression meaning to decamp or depart hurriedly more often than not at night time or ‘in the dark’.
17d Negotiated with bankrupt cardinal, for example (8)
BROKERED – To bargain or negotiate – BROKE (bankrupt) and RED (one of the definitions of cardinal is a deep scarlet colour).
19d Disappear, going around part of Orient east of capital? Japan, perhaps (7)
VARNISH – Japan is a type of glossy black lacquer or VARNISH – a synonym for disappear VANISH with R (the letter in the word Orient after or east of its capital O) inserted.
21d Soft soap that’s used when washing face (7)
FLANNEL – Flattery or a small square of towelling used to wash your face.
22d Empire once eliminating capital of old kingdom (6)
RUSSIA – remove the capital letter from the old kingdom of PRUSSIA and you get the old empire of RUSSIA.
24d However, discover disc this composer repeatedly contributes to (5)
VERDI – ‘Repeatedly’ was used in 1d to indicate a double anagram. In this clue, it indicates that the name of the Italian composer repeatedly contributes to or is hidden twice in the clue – howeVER DIscoVER DIsc.
As I said on Sunday, very hard to pick a favourite clue but I have now decided that 1d and 24d share the honours: one for the clever double anagram and the other for the equally clever double hidden words. Gnomey said he normally looks forward to a stiffer challenge than this from Virgilius – it’s his turn to review the next two Sunday cryptics so it will be interesting to see if he gets what he wishes for. I’m back off to Saturday reviews for a fortnight. Confused by our new ‘rota’? You’re not the only one!