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ST 2579

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2759

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another classic Virgilius puzzle that really does tick all the right boxes – It was even better when reviewing than when solving as I had cause to break the clues down and consider the merits. Apart from some well signposted tricky words I think most people found it relatively straightforward.

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1a           One who’s succeeded as a parliamentarian, possibly (10,4)
HEREDITARY PEER – A cryptic definition for a lord who can (just about still) pass on the seat in the upper parliamentary house to his/her eldest child.

9a           Substitute one fabric with another (7)
REPLACE – I have seen this a few times before but others might not be aware of REP – a corded cloth. Adding LACE, another fabric, leads to ‘substitute’.

10a         Someone is going to say this toast (7)
CHEERIO – More usually CHEERS but CHEERIO is a toast drunk to health. If you are leaving (going) you might say the same.

11a         This English character is finally altered in the US (3)
ZED – A typical Virgilius word observation clue (as I see them). The final character of the alphabet, and also the fact that this final character has its final letter edited (to give ZEE) in the US.

12a         Some forget to get here for meeting (3-8)
GET-TOGETHER – Excellent surface reading means that it is easy to miss the hidden/container indicator (some) at the start. The meeting is hidden in ‘forGET TO GET HERe’. Classic Virgilius.

14a         Lack of place for players to practise some musical pieces (6)
NONETS – Cricket haters beware!. Batsmen practice in the nets so NO NETS means nowhere to practice and also to musical pieces that require nine musicians to perform.

15a         Set scale differently for these instruments (8)
CELESTAS – Not an everyday instrument but it should be well known to cruciverbalists (if it isn’t then remember it!). An anagram (differently) of SET SCALES.

17a         Taking for granted amount of money in ill-gotten gains (8)
ASSUMING – Placing SUM (amount of money) into an anagram (Ill-gotten) of GAINS leads to an adjective for ‘Taking for granted’.

19a         Plaster mostly remained firm (6)
STUCCO – Remove the last from STUC(K), mostly remained, and add CO(mpany), the standard abbreviation,  for a decorative plasterwork. Perhaps STUCK isn’t the first synonym for ‘remained’ that one thinks of but consider ‘stuck around’.

22a         Abstainer’s drunk half of beer – that’s puzzling (5-6)
BRAINTEASER – A lovely apposite anagram (drunk) of ABSTAINERS with half of (be)ER on the end gives a puzzle or head-scratcher.

23a         Like a diamond or ruby (3)
RED – A simple double definition. Diamond cards are red and so are rubies.

24a         Suffer after band is used for curly hair (7)
RINGLET – The band = ring is obvious but LET for SUFFER is less so, both meaning ‘allow’. The definition shouldn’t cause too many problems.

26a         Antiquated brace in old vessel (7)
OUTWORN – A word for ‘antiquated’ or ‘used up through age’. Place TWO (a brace or pair) into O(ld) + URN (a vessel). Another great construction.

27a         Seasonal play in list new theatre put out (3,7,4)
THE WINTERS TALE – I shall borrow Big Dave’s clue from the day: This Shakespeare play with a seasonal title is an anagram (put out) of LIST NEW THEATRE


1d           Equipment used for gymnastics in flat, with some music (10,4)
HORIZONTAL BARS – As mentioned on the day the gymnastic equipment in the answer is plural and equipment can be plural so the fact that only one is used in the field is not an issue. Take a synonym for flat, horizontal, and then add bars – a portion of music.

2d           Persuaded to join exercise class held by sculptor (5,2)
ROPED IN – The definition is ‘persuaded to join’ (usually against one’s better judgement). Place PE (exercise class) in RODIN, a well known sculptor.

3d           Chap who makes plans as potential king (11)
DRAUGHTSMAN – A definition plus cryptic definition. The man who draws building plans and the piece on a draught board who may become a king (in potential) if he reaches the other side.

4d           In second half for City, passed, producing score (6)
TWENTY – We need WENT (passed) in the second two letters of ciTY to get the number that is a score.

5d           Sunk in shipwreck, one despondently thought (8)
RECKONED – A second excellent hidden word (indicated by ‘sunk in’. Thought or cogitated is hidden in shipwRECK, ONE Despondently.

6d           Odd selection of prose for author (3)
POE – Edgar Allan POE, a regular in crosswords, is found in the odd letters (selection) of PrOsE.

7d           Scope of hearing includes some corn recently stolen (7)
EARSHOT – The range of one’s audition is a charade of EARS (the edible bit of maize is called an ear of corn) and HOT – recently stolen, a bit iffy.

8d           Post agreement (14)
CORRESPONDENCE – A chestnutty double definition for me but others may not have heard this. A letter is a form of correspondence and two things that match are said to correspond.

13d         Lots of people providing seats for those who are standing (11)
ELECTORATES – A cryptic definition for the (plural) noun for people who vote. They vote to give parliamentary SEATS to those that STAND in elections.

16d         Still on plate around middle of table, or still in cup? (8)
UNBEATEN – A lovely definition of ‘still in cup’ for a football team that has yet to be knocked out. Placec UNEATEN (still on plate) around B – the middle of taBle. Excellent surface reading and diversion once more.

18d         Stop loss of liquid assets in firm (7)
STAUNCH – Another double definition that should be remembered if it is not already filed away. One can staunch the flow of blood (or indeed STEM it) and one can be a staunch (FIRM) supporter of e.g. a political party.

20d         About carnival city and about dance from there (7)
CARIOCA – This one gave some trouble on the day but the wordplay is clear even if the name of the dance is not. We need two instances of CA (circa or about/roughly in Latin is abbreviated to CA) and in between we need RIO de Janeiro, the city associated with a massive Carnival.

21d         A supporter on seaside ground (6)
ASHORE – A charade of A + Supporter (e.g. prop) gives us an adjective for ‘on seaside ground’.

25d         Large area supported by West, as a rule (3)
LAW – TO finish we have a charade of 3 letter abbreviations – L(arge) + A(rea) + W(est) to give a rule.

I have the pleasure of next Sunday’s Virgilius puzzle to review next week so I will see you all then.

12 comments on “ST 2579

  1. Nice one once again Gnomey, you and Sue are getting expert at this now, I have never ever heard cheerio used in that way, so that one caused me a problem!

    Just by the way ‘Sunshine came softly through my window today ‘- was that the Kinks? keeps going through my mind, must be the nice weather :)

    1. Thanks, but there are plenty here who could (and perhaps should) take the reins upon occasion ;-).
      Sunshine Superman by Donovan I believe!.

        1. Good Day Sunshine is a Beatles track, from Revolver. It’s mainly a McCartney composition.

  2. 9a was the material that caused a lot of controversy in another DT puzzle, last year?? No-one seemed to have heard of REP as material.

    1. I have known of the word for as long as I have been doing crosswords but had to look it up to find out that it is a ‘corded cloth’

      1. I knew what sort of cloth it was as I must have looked it up back in the early 70s when I first met it in a crossword!

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