ST 2585 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2585

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2585

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I don’t know whether our setters knew that we were going to get all this lovely weather but lately the majority of cryptics seem to have been both entertaining and quick to solve, leaving us time to get on with enjoying ourselves. This offering from Virgilius followed the trend with some great clues and wonderful penny-dropping moments so thank you to him once again.

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1a    Apple computer’s first operating system — slow, incomplete (7)
COSTARD – a large cooking apple these days found more often in crosswords than in pies! – The first letter of Computer followed by the abbreviation for Operating System and then TARD(y) (slow or sluggish without its last letter, ie incomplete).

5a    Day after one’s performance for sagacious songwriter (7)
SOLOMON – A performance by one person is a SOLO, follow this with MON (day) to get the Biblical King of Israel known for his sagacity or wisdom. One of the books of the Hebrew Bible is the Song of Solomon, hence the reference to songwriter in the clue.

9a    Above fifty, a learner driver’s in top gear (7)
OVERALL – a protective garment worn over one’s ordinary clothes – OVER (above) and L (50 in Latin numerals) with A L (learner driver) inside..

10a    In fairness, they’re just uncultivated areas (7)
DESERTS – Lovely clue! – areas of wasteland or DESERTS placed after the word JUST give a phrase meaning getting a fairly or well-deserved fate.

11a    Spirit not entirely captured in B flat for composer (9)
BEETHOVEN – The German composer is found by putting most of ETHO(S ) (spirit not entirely) inside the B from the clue and EVEN (flat or level).

12a    Music giving clubs, perhaps, a little energy (5)
SUITE – A sequence of musical movements – SUIT (a pack of cards has four suits of which clubs is one) followed by E (abbreviation for energy).

13a    What poets typically do — but not Keats and Yeats (5)
RHYME – Most poets write verse which should rhyme. Keats and Yeats, although spelled the same, are pronounced differently so do not rhyme.

15a    Run TV series in irregular way, not regular (9)
RESERVIST – R for Run followed by an anagram (irregular) of TV SERIES – a soldier who is not part of the regular army but a member of a reserve force such as the Territorial Army.

17a    Brought together, simplified for calculation (7,2)
ROUNDED UP – A phrasal verb meaning either to gather or collect together also means to raise a number to the nearest convenient figure to aid calculation.

19a    Observe what’s wrong about maximum speed (5)
WATCH – To keep in view: an anagram (wrong) of WHAT around C (the symbol for the speed of light, the maximum speed at which all energy, matter and information in the universe can travel).

22a    Triumphantly lift off the ground in research aircraft (5)
CHAIR – A verb meaning to carry in triumph is hidden in researCH AIRcraft.

23a    Choice in polls when last becomes first (9)
SELECTION – Move the final letter (last becomes first) from ELECTIONS (polls) to the front of the word to get a synonym for choice.

25a    Hear about one record of events in book group (7)
TRILOGY – A group of three related books – TRY (hear judicially) around I (one) and LOG (record of events).

26a    Country people appearing in part of opera (7)
ARMENIA – a country in Western Asia is easily obtained by placing MEN (people) inside ARIA (a vocal solo in an opera).

27a    Fictitious account to court (7)
ROMANCE – A nice double definition: as a noun it’s a story of fiction; as a verb it means to woo or court.

28a    Instructed group of workers against Communist (7)
TUTORED – a word meaning instructed or taught is a charade of the abbreviation for Trade Union (group of workers) TO (here meaning close against) and RED (one of crosswordland’s many handy words for communist).


1d    It may forcefully open argument among Conservative lawyers (7)
CROWBAR – a heavy iron bar used as a lever. Place a ROW (argument) between C (Conservative) and BAR (lawyers, barristers and advocates).

2d    Flats etc. giving views of landscape (7)
SCENERY – In the theatre, flats are scenery slid or lowered onto the stage. They may or may not show views of landscape which, of course, are also known as scenery.

3d    Lived in a hut, initially, with lots of running water (5)
AWASH – Insert into A and H (Hut initially) WAS (lived) to get a term meaning having the surface full of, or covered with, water.

4d    Rescued, as it happens, king in action (9)
DELIVERED – Set free or rescued from danger – Insert LIVE (as it happens) and R (Rex or King) into DEED (action).

5d    In paper, notice rising showing divided state of Africa (5)
SUDAN – Reverse (rising in a down clue) AD (advertisement or notice) then insert into the SUN, one of the red-topped tabloids, to get the NE African state which on 9 July 2011 will be formally split into Northern and Southern Sudan following many years of conflict.

6d    Repeatedly street artist breaks rule — that finally does it (4,5)
LAST STRAW – the point at which endurance finally breaks down – The abbreviation for street used twice (repeatedly) so ST ST and RA (crosswordland’s favourite abbreviation for artist) should be inserted into (breaks) LAW (rule) and the result split 4, 5.

7d    Swallow one cocktail (7)
MARTINI – I was actually watching these birds, which are similar to swallows, flying over the marshes while I solved this crossword. MARTIN followed by I gives you a cocktail of vermouth, gin and bitters.

8d    New upwardly mobile activity just beginning (7)
NASCENT – An adjective meaning coming into being: N (new) and ASCENT (climb, which is as the clue says an upwardly mobile activity!).

14d    Duck lower for cover (9)
EIDERDOWN – a type of duck the EIDER and DOWN (an adverb meaning lower) together make a type of quilted bedcover, named because it was originally filled with the DOWN or feathers of the EIDER duck.

16d    One brought in to replace petitioner (9)
SUPPLIANT – Insert I (one) into SUPPLANT (a verb meaning to supersede or take the place of) to get someone who asks earnestly, a petitioner.

17d    Scale of a natural disaster making prosperous period short (7)
RICHTER – a scale used to measure that natural disaster, the earthquake – RICH (prosperous) and TER(M) (a period of time with its last letter removed, or short).

18d    Metal that briefly divides parts of TV (7)
URANIUM – My Eureka moment of the day. It took me a while to work out that U for Uranium comes between or divides T and V in the alphabet.

20d    Having reduced concentration, cut the target area (7)
THINNER – Something less thick or concentrated would be this. TH(E) (the cut) and INNER (that part of the target next to the bull’s eye).

21d    A partnership in firm producing parliamentary reports (7)
HANSARD – The printed reports of debates in Parliament – Insert into HARD (firm) A and NS (north and south are partners in a game of bridge).

23d    Extract from nasty letter, in a way (5)
STYLE – It is possible to extract from naSTY LEtter a hidden word meaning a way or manner.

24d    It may orbit regularly and arrive on time (5)
COMET – A regularly orbiting celestial body is a charade of COME (arrive) and T(time).

Lots of good clues including 23a, but my top favourites remain the great 10a and also 18d which was one of those obvious answer but why? clues which produce great Eureka moments. Let’s hope the weather and the Sunday cryptic are just as good when I return next week.

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