ST 2574 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2574

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.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


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!

19 comments on “ST 2574

  1. What a pity that we get these brilliant puzzles week after week from Virgilius and they attract only a fraction of the interest generated by the Saturday ones. Thanks to Virgilius and to CrypticSue for an excellent review.

      1. Perhaps it’s just that fewer people do the Sunday crossword. I have to admit that although I have done the daily ones for donkey’s years, I have only really started regularly solving the Sunday one since I joined this blog.

        1. I think you are probably right. Whether due to family commitments, or other reasons, maybe less people look at the Sunday puzzle. I have 2 young children, and although I make a point of always solving the Saturday and Sunday puzzles, I have to fit them in when I can, and sometimes that is Monday morning.
          The Sunday crossword is top quality and most enjoyable – thanks to Virgilius, and to CrypticSue for the notes.

        1. I’m a paper buyer. The Sunday paper is very expensive, and the sheer volume of newsprint in the Saturday and Sunday papers is just far too much.(Most goes straight into the re-cycle bin).

          Also, the Sunday crossword is very hard to find and is printed in such a way that it is difficult to manoeuvre! Maybe, if it was on the back page….??

    1. Agreed, gazza. Consistently my favourite setter in the DT.
      Thanks for the review, Crypticsue!

  2. Thanks CrypticSue for an elegant appraisal and to Virgilius for the trade mark hidden word. (Double this time).
    My Favourite clue was 19d you can die drinking varnish but it’s a lovely finish.

    My full name ?

    Look who won the pen on Sunday

    1. Congratulations from me too. The odds against winning a pen must be enormous, so very well done.

    1. Off out to see stage show ‘the naked truth’ supposed to be hilarious, need cheering up such a dull wet misty day!

    2. I’m admitting defeat too, brain just not in gear at all today. With no hints yet its proved beyond me today. Better luck next week. Enjoy the show.

  3. Since Virgilius has started to do the ST crossword the standard has of course become very good. I suspect it is only a matter of time before people come to realise this and it attracts more interest. I didn’t think very highly of the old one and perhaps some people still think it’s the same.

    But there was (and this is rare with Virgilius) one quibble: in 1ac we are asked to think that being advanced in electronics is being hi-tech. Not necessarily so, surely.

    1. In Virgilius’s defence, electronics is mentioned in Chambers under the definition of high-tech.

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