ST 2583 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2583

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2583

A full review by Gnomethang

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

Afternoon All!. We have another first rate puzzle from Virgilius with a series of clues linked either by theme or by wordplay, making the solving process all the more enjoyable.

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.


7a           Behave amorously, with love repeatedly being seen in romantic light (8)
CANOODLE – One of my favourite words!. Two instances of O (love/zero) in CANDLE (the romantic light for all you smoothies)

9a           Like part of speech from unusually brave Liberal (6)
VERBAL – An anagram (unusual) of BRAVE followed by L for Liberal gives this part of speech.

10a         Join in violin piece (6)
BRIDGE – A double definition I think but looking at it now I am struggling to make the split. A part of a violin is a bridge, a part of a musical interlude for (e.g.) a violin might be a bridge (James Brown likes them!) but really to bridge is also to JOIN which is the first definition. This, coupled with 11a gives us the first instance of the theme at 12a North, South, East and West are the places at a bridge table, as we all should know!.

11a         Business colleagues with standards holding back lease (8)
PARTNERS – Smooth surface reading makes this a bit trickier than it should. PARS (standards) containing the reverse (holding back) of RENT (lease) becomes the people that we are in bed with in business. See 12a for the thematic reference.

12a         Main directions and aims introduced by leading churchman (8,6)
CARDINAL POINTS – This is the main theme of the puzzle, involving 10a/11a, 23a/25a, 17a, 20a and 5d. I may have missed some others but can’t find them!. The main (seafaring on the Spanish Main) directions are North, South, East and West. The second definition is a charade with POINTS (aims) coming after (introduced by) CARDINAL – a leading churchman.

15a         Excited as Oscar’s announced (4)
WILD – A homophone of Oscar WILDE is also an adjective meaning ‘excited’.

17a         Physical strength I used to divide 10 11 and their opponents (5)
SINEW – The physical strength is akin to muscle or even fibre. The clue relates to BRIDGE PARTNERS (10/11 across) which are N and S ( North and South). Insert an I between (I is used to divide) and then add the opponents of North/South:  East and West

19a         Become weaker and pale, with little energy (4)
WANE – The opposite of wax for a moon, meaning to ebb or grow less. A pale complexion is WAN and follow that up with E (a little abbreviation for energy)

20a         Send for, without scattering in all directions (2,3,4,5)
TO THE FOUR WINDS – not an &Lit as such but a wonderful clue that relates to the theme. An anagram (scattering) of SEND FOR WITHOUT means ‘in all directions’. All directions are the themed North,  South, East and West as poetically named wind directions
The phrase ‘scattered to the four winds’ should be duly noted to see how good this clue actually is.

23a         Nothing unfortunate happening, after leader’s gone West (8)
OCCIDENT – Another themed clue that is partner to 25a. The answer means West, and appears on the West (left) side of the grid. Start with O (for nothing as before) then add aCCIDENT – an unfortunate happening after the first letter (leader) has gone/been removed. An excellent surface reading for a Cold War piece of propaganda.

25a         Inside door I enter, set in particular direction (6)
ORIENT – The other side of the globe to 23a located correctly in the grid to the EAST (right) of the occident. It is hidden within (inside) doOR I ENTer. The definition is ‘set in a particular direction’ such as you may do with a compass (orienteering anyone?).

27a         Inn in state bordered by Tennessee (6)
TAVERN – The Inn or drinking house is AVER (state or acclaim) inside (bordered by ) TN which is the abbreviation for the Tennessee state in America.

28a         Composing line in musical arrangement for song (8)
SETTLING – This is another tricky one to spot as one needs to ‘lift and separate’ the definition (composing/clearing one’s mind) from ‘line’ given the context of the clue. The wordplay wants you to place L for Line inside SETTING – a musical arrangement for a song.


1d           Worst possible performance by batsman in match (4)
PAIR – This is a funny clue that is a cryptic definition but not very cryptic if you know your cricket. Please let me know if I have missed something!  This is a cryptic definition and definition. Two zero scores (ducks) in each innings of a cricket Test Match are known as a PAIR of spectacles (or just ‘pair’ or ‘spectacles’) since they are written in the match book as O-O. The second straight synonym is MATCH for PAIR. In any case I enjoyed solving this one.

2d           Prepared to fire rich drunk (6)
LOADED – We seem to have had a few treble (or even triple if you are on fifteensquared!) definitions recently and this is another one. Put the ammo in, an adjective meaning rich and a (mainly) American slang word for drunk or high.

3d           Starts off one map showing tide (4)
NEAP – A classic Virgilius observation. Removing the first letters from (starts off) oNE and mAP leads to a tide where the difference between High and Low tides is least, due to the opposing forces of the Sun and the Moon.

4d           Exaggerate limitation of Italian maestro in scoreless draw? (6)
OVERDO – If you limit (cut off the last letter of) VERDI, the Italian maestro and place him inside O O (Nil-nil, a scoreless draw) you will find a verb meaning Exaggerate or go OTT.

5d           Make most of 12, being just out (5-3)
BRAND NEW – A commercial make is a BRAND and most of the cardinal points (in 12a) are NE&W. Being just out is the definition for something that has just been released for sale.

6d           Provided with troops organised, in a way, around king (10)
GARRISONED – The definition is ‘Provided with troops’. An anagram (in a way) of ORGANISED around R for king. This was nicely diverting as a usual anagram indicator, organised, is actually the anagram fodder.

8d           Spanish governesses raised English queen in South of France (7)
DUENNAS – A word to remember for crosswords, both cryptic and GK. This Spanish governess is Queen ANNE inside SUD –South in French – both reversed (raised).

13d         Actor’s art I represented in ‘The Duchess of Malfi’, for example (10)
ARISTOCRAT – An anagram (misrepresented) of ACTORS ART I gives a hich class person, an example of which is The duchess of Malfi.

14d         How one scores slowly in fast over (5)
LENTO – A lovely clue with a natural surface reading that points to a cricket match. In fact the slow scoring is a musical instruction. The fast is LENT and O(ver) is the cricket abbreviation.

16d         Fully set out conclusion in legal document (8)
DETAILED – Fully set out or ‘completely explained’ is the definition. Place TAIL (conclusion or end) inside DEED – a legal conveyance document.

18d         What solvers do for exercise (4,3)
WORK OUT – A good double definition, working out in the gym and working out a puzzle.

21d         It gets more than one player sent off (6)
EXEUNT – A cryptic definition of the Latin stage instruction to tell more than one person to EXIT (possibly pursued by a bear).

22d         Result of loss of liquidity during freeze? It depends (6)
ICICLE – Another good cryptic definition. The clue reads like a financial crisis but we are talking about something that hangs down (depends) after a thaw and refreeze.

24d         This involves raising a bit of money, it may be argued (4)
TOSS – When tossing a coin, the bit of money is raised into the air. One may also ‘argue the toss’ when disputing a trivial fact.

26d         Six turned over — or beheaded? (4)
NINE – Another nice word observation clue from Virgilius to finish with. If you turn a 6 upside down you get a 9, and if you remove the first letter of (s)IX you get IX which is 9 in Roman Numerals.

Another corking puzzle – Thanks Virgilius!. This one was again my puzzle of the week in the Telegraph.

14 comments on “ST 2583

  1. Maybe 1d is also among the themed clues, as in “to pair with someone for playing bridge”?

    1. I was looking around for any other links to the theme but I am not sure there is any linked intention at 1d. What I failed to notice (and have just updated that MATCH is another definition for PAIR so this is a Cryptic Definition + Definition.

  2. I loved this crossword – was very jealous of the fact that it was your turn to review it!

  3. I enjoyed this, although it was mid week by the time I got round to solving it. Regarding 1d, I think the clue, as you say, is referring to two ducks for a batsman and also a couple getting married (match) become a pair. So a double definition. That’s how I read it, anyway

    1. Thanks – I sat staring at it last night confusing myself and it was only Nestorious’ prompt that caused me to look at it again and spotted the ‘match’ – happens to the worst of us!

      1. Solving crosswords is bad enough. Having to set, or review, them must be even worse. So I don’t envy your task. And I apologise as I forgot to thank you for your review!

  4. Excellent puzzle – 6d caused me a headache; I kept trying to find an answer containing an anagram of ‘troops’.
    Thanks for the review, and to Virgilius for the entertainment.

  5. Excellent crossword. For 24d getting the answer was quite the reverse of one of those “penny drop” moments!

  6. Thanks for an excellent review, Gnomethang.

    Unless I missed it, I guess nobody noticed the N, S, E, W appropriately placed in the periphery.

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