ST 2587 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2587

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2587

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!. Last Sunday gave us another archetypal Virgilius puzzle. No nonsense, no theme, just a series of well crafted clues with a few pleasing ‘penny-drop moments’ and not much too trouble judging from the comments on the day.

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           Old Italian family doctor joining one in Rome (6)
MEDICI – The Florentine family of polymaths and businessmen. MEDIC for doctor and the Roman Numeral I for ‘one’.

4a           Indian with expedition capturing leader of Hurons (6)
APACHE – One of the American Indian tribe. Put H – the leader of Hurons (A Native American confederacy formerly inhabiting southeast Ontario) inside APACE, meaning with expedition or quickly.

8a           Testing metal in a small saw (8)
ASSAYING – We should all be aware of SAW meaning SAYING or proverb. Place A and S(mall) in front to get a verb meaning ‘testing the purity of metal’.

10a         Change to green energy? Fail to follow suit (6)
RENEGE – An anagram (change) of GREEN E(energy) means to Welsh on a deal or fail to go through with a promise. Thanks to Pommers for pointing out that the specific meaning in the game of Bridge is to  fail to follow suit when you do actually have a card of the suit in your hand’.

11a         Makeshift set of a dozen put in box, in case (4)
JURY – A very good cryptic definition for a dozen good men (or women) who sit in a box in a trial (case). **EDIT – It is another one that I missed and gazza has pointed me in the right direction. JURY , as an adjective, means makeshift or temporary so it’s a double def (think JURY rigged)

12a         Bad behaviour, possibly, in dog (10)
WRONGDOING – Misbehavious that is an anagram (possibly) of IN DOG. One may describe IN DOG as ‘wrong’ DOING.

13a         Way of presenting gender that is not kinky (12)
STRAIGHTENED – Something that has had the kinks removed s this. An anagram (another ‘way of presenting’ GENDER THAT IS.

16a         Water’s mixed in medicinal liquid, source of juice (5,7)
POWER STATION – An anagram of WATERS (mixed) inside POTION – a medicinal liquid. Juice here is a slang term for electricity which leads us nicely to POWER STATION

20a         Decorative gold needed, with new article in mind (10)
ORNAMENTAL – The definition here is ‘decorative’. Start with OR (the heraldic term for gold), then N(ew) and A – the indefinite article. Finally add MENTAL meaning ‘in or of the  mind’

21a         Modern composer’s arrangement of bars using four notes (4)
CAGE – John Cage, ‘composer’ of 4’33” (of silence!). His surname is an arrangement of iron bars used to imprison and also four notes, C A G and E.

22a         Land in country in East, say (6)
ESTATE – A charade of E(ast) and state for say gives the acres associated with the country pile.

23a         Fresh, it’s put back inside — not ready to open up (8)
RETICENT – RECENT for fresh with IT returned and placed inside (put back inside). Wary or not ready to expose oneself.

24a         Stayed wobbly? Just the opposite (6)
STEADY – A charmingly straightforward but well disguised clue. A wobbly anagram of STAYED  means just the opposite of stayed wobbly’.

25a         Person in pool, perhaps, who executes key strokes without a break (6)
TYPIST – A cryptic definition of a person who works in the Typing Pool.


1d           Cause of fever bringing physicians to capital of SA (8)
MOSQUITO – Another charade. MOs for physicians (Medical Officers) then QUITO, the capital of the South American country Ecuador.

2d           Personal record of bust-up with boy, finally (5)
DIARY – A drugs bust is a RAID. Reverse this (up) and add Y – the final letter of boy.

3d           With wife in faraway land, good to chat (7)
CHINWAG – an informal word for chat or natter. The faraway land is CHINA. Place W(ife) inside and follow with G(ood).

5d           Model taking Catherine’s place, under pressure (7)
PARAGON – Quite straightforward when you remember Catherine of Aragon – Henry VIII’s forst wife. Add P(ressure) at the start to get a model or archetype.

6d           Agreement to use new ribbed fabric in garment (9)
CONCORDAT – This is a slightly formal word for an agreement, often one between the Vatican and a secular government relating to matters of mutual interest. Place N(ew) and CORD (thanks gazza!) – a  ribbed fabric – inside COAT (garment)

7d           Moving carefully, proceed gingerly, in part (6)
EDGING – A verb meaning ‘moving carefully is hidden (in part) of proceED GINGerly.

9d           Person whose work for someone else is bound to be finished (5-6)
GHOST-WRITER – A cryptic definition of someone who writes a book (which is then bound once finished) for another person.

14d         Meat and drink put at foot of mountain for man on top (5,4)
ALPHA MALE – A wordsum describing the head honcho in any social group. Put HAM (food) and ALE (drink) underneath (at the foot of) ALP for mountain.

15d         Bread and fruit cake (8)
DOUGHNUT – A double definition. A bready, sugary snack and a nutty person or doofus (for our American cousins).
Sorry everyone!. Thanks to Virgilius for pointing out (below) that the correct parsing is DOUGH for bread (money) and NUT for fruit  as a charade for a form of cake (Mmmmm Doughnuts!).

17d         Small range of knowledge covering last part of crossword — time to relax (7)
WEEKEND – Leisure time after the working week. A charade of WEE (small) and KEN (scope or range of knowledge as in ‘beyong my ken’) in front of (covering last part of) crossworD.

18d         Author taking up time in schedule before play (7)
TOLSTOY – The author of War and Peace. Reverse SLOT, the time available in a schedule) and add TOY for play.

19d         Emergencies as Conservative moves into higher position (6)
CRISES – Dramas or emergencies. Staart with C for Conservatices and then RISES, moves into a higher position.

21d         Plants put in front of court before start of play (5)
CACTI – The plants are a generic term for desert succulents. The C (front of Court) is placed before ACT I (one), the start of any play.

Thanks to Virgilius for another fun Sunday Solve. I will be back next week for more of the same.

9 comments on “ST 2587

  1. Hi Gnomey
    Excellent review of an excellent crossword!

    Just a point re10a: RENEGE is a bridge term for failing to follow suit when you do actually have a card of the suit in your hand. Alternative word for the more common REVOKE.

    Thanks to Gnomey and Virgilius.

    1. Pommers is a bit blinkered when it comes to his card games.
      The term renege/revoke also applies to any game where you have to follow suit – eg whist as well

  2. Thanks, Gnomethang.

    Just to point out the intended parsing of 15d is DOUGH = BREAD (money), NUT = FRUIT, DOUGHNUT = CAKE

    1. Nice to get to correct answer from the compiler! Aka Virgilius? Bloggers Beware!!!

      1. Franco – you are correct. It is always a pleasure when the setters drop by and Virgilius is one of those.
        Clearly I have my tail between my legs as this error and 3 others have been brought to my attention.
        I’ll get me coat (again!) ;-)

    2. Thanks, Brian, I think I got it right on the day but went a bit mad last night/this morning. This is my 4th mistake on this puzzle. Must try harder!
      Thanks again for the entertainment and looking forward to Sunday.

  3. Blimus! My apologies – I was a bit rushed doing this and apart from the technical innacuracies (which have been corrected) there are a few typos (which should not be there) that I will fix shortly.

  4. Virgilius – Thanks for a lovely crossword, thoroughly enjoyed this one.
    Gnomey – great review but are you now in the naughty corner?

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