ST 2586 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2586

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2586

A full review by Crypticsue

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

This Sunday’s puzzle was for me a ‘crossword of two halves’.   The left hand side went in quite quickly but the right hand side, and particularly the NE corner, was a different matter, hence the 3.5 stars for difficulty.   The usual enjoyable mix of clues so thanks are due once again to Virgilius for some great entertainment, albeit slightly more taxing than usual for me at least.

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           Subscribe a pound? That’s notable (6)
SIGNAL – An adjective meaning notable or important is made from a charade of a verb meaning to subscribe or enlist plus the A from the clue and L (the abbreviation for Pounds Sterling usually written as £).

4a           Shows moving state of affairs, briefly, about employment (8)
CIRCUSES – Shows involving moving entertainment such as clowns and acrobats –  insert USE (employment) into CIRCS, which Chambers rather splendidly defines as a shortened form of circumstances or as the clue puts it “affairs, briefly”..

10a         One of the spirits available from good innkeeper (5)
GHOST – A spirit or soul of a person appearing after death – G (good) and HOST (innkeeper or publican).

11a         With leaders away, chap opening event (9)
HAPPENING – Discard the first letters (leaders away) of CHAP and  OPENING, then remove the space between the remaining letters to produce a noun meaning an event or occurrence.

12a         Garment one’s used in short science experiment, initially (7)
CHEMISE –  A woman’s shirt like undergarment:   CHEM(ISTRY) (short science)  and add IS (one’s) and E (experiment initially).

13a         Inside right container I loaded maximally (7)
RICHEST   – Insert (inside) I between R (right) and CHEST (container) to get a word meaning having loads of money or to the maximum amount.

14a         Weapons training that makes sailor understand routine, when in charge (6,8)
TARGET PRACTICE –  A nice charade – repeated shooting at a target to improve one’s aim:  TAR (sailor) plus GET (understand) followed by ACT (a routine or turn) inserted into PRICE (charge or cost).

17a         Fatted calf, say, present for festive occasion (8,6)
STOCKING FILLER –  Not part of a feast prepared in celebration, but the suggestion that a slightly larger lower leg might fill a nylon stocking;  normally one thinks of a stocking filler being a present inserted into a large sock placed at the end of the bed on the festive occasion of Christmas Eve.

21a         What makes one stand, perhaps, for such a difficult situation (3,4)
HOT SEAT – A double definition.  Something that might literally be too hot to sit on, or a figurative term for a tricky or difficult situation.

23a         Inclined to include verse making one’s existence OK (7)
LIVABLE – An adjective meaning worth living.    V for verse inserted into LIABLE (tending to or likely to).

24a         Party committee built poor reforms (9)
POLITBURO – The policy-making committee in the former Communist countries is an anagram (reforms) of BUILT POOR.

25a         Be powerless to resist current trend in meaning (5)
DRIFT –  A double definition – to travel passively with current or wind, eg when a boat has no power, or to get or understand the meaning of something.

26a         Old-fashioned kind of record that keeps track of minutes (8)
LONGHAND – Before the days of computer records, I was the local Parish Clerk and had to write out the minutes of the meetings in a very large old minute book in longhand using a fountain pen.  Split 4,4 the long hand moves round a clock face to show the time in minutes.

27a         Showing effects of strain in fight with editor (6)
FRAYED – Nerves are said to be frayed when subject to strain –  FRAY (fight, brawl or scene of lively action) followed by ED (editor).


1d           Wise behaviour, having extended account with financial centre (8)
SAGACITY –  Wisdom and judicious discernment.   SAGA (a long detailed story) and CITY (here referring to the centre of British financial affairs, the City of London).

2d           London theatre supported by left-winger to go on world tour (5-4)
GLOBE-TROT  –   To travel around the world, especially as a tourist:   Shakespeare’s theatre, the GLOBE followed (supported by) TROT (a derogative informal term for a follower of that famous left-winger Trotsky).

3d           A way to be mounted on horse (7)
ASTRIDE –  Being relatively new to the ‘technical terminology’, I was delighted to spot this clue being an example of an All-in-One.   When you are mounted on a horse you are said to be ASTRIDE.   A plus ST (street or way) and RIDE (to be mounted on a horse).

5d           Risk about article leading to bitterness about this volume (8,6)
IMPERIAL GALLON – A non-metric measurement of liquid –  Insert A (indefinite article) into IMPERIL (risk or endanger) and follow this with GALL (bitterness) and ON (about).

6d           Boasted over share in profit — it helps to keep a cool head (4,3)
CREW CUT – This style of hair cut where the hair is cut really close to the head would definitely keep one cool.   CREW (past participle of crow, meaning to boast or swagger) followed by CUT (a slang term for a share of something).

7d           Birds to shoot — precisely (5)
SNIPE – A double definition – a species of wading bird or a verb meaning to shoot at someone from a position of cover.

8d           Spies can be facilitators of people’s aims (6)
SIGHTS – Virgilius is very good at sending you off on a tangent – I spent a few moments thinking of alternative words for members of MI5!   However here spies means sees or SIGHTS, another definition of which is the guides to the eye on guns which help one aim at a target.

9d           The interruption that’s stupid, eliminating one way to reverse course (5-5,4)
THREE-POINT TURN – An anagram (that’s stupid) of THE INTERRUPTION with I removed (eliminating one) produces that manoeuvre we all learn for our driving tests and then hardly ever use afterwards!

15d         Quick movement, penning boy’s first name (9)
CELEBRITY – Insert B(boy’s first) into CELERITY, a noun meaning quickness, speed or rapidity of motion, to get a term for a person of notoriety, distinction or fame.

16d         Stopped working after a king’s held up (8)
ARRESTED –  The definition here is held up.    A R(Rex – King) followed (after) by RESTED (stopped working or being temporarily unemployed).

18d         The ache that’s tormented a noted sprinter (7)
CHEETAH – the big cat famed for its sprinting which makes it the fastest animal on earth is found in an anagram (tormented) of THE ACHE.

19d         Person making hostile takeover has driven frantically around area (7)
INVADER  –  Someone entering a country by hostile force is an anagram (frantically) of DRIVEN around  A (area).

20d         Place of worship, church primate left (6)
CHAPEL – I did like this simple charade:  it’s easy to work out the place of worship – CH(church) APE (primate) and L (left).

22d         Gripping part of hobby expert alone comprehends (5)
TALON –  a hobby here is a small species of falcon which uses its talons to grip its prey.    TALON is hidden (comprehends) in experT ALONe

Lots of good clues from which to pick a favourite, but I am going to go with 17a for the fun vision it conjured up and 3d, because it’s  an all-in-one!!   I return to Saturdays for the next two weeks – Gnomethang will be back to have fun with Virgilius next Sunday.