ST 2588 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2588

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2588

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All!. We had another very enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius this week. As Digby pointed out there are 6 clues (including the four long perimeter clues) that contain the same letter 3 times in a row. Virgilius pointed out later on Sunday that he merely included this contrivance for a bit of fun and to see if anyone noticed!.

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           PM included in issue raised by a predecessor (4,3,7)
PITT THE YOUNGER – A cryptic definition of a Prime Minister who was the son of a Prime Minister

9a           Thus piano extended old singer (7)
SOPRANO – A charade of SO (thus), P(iano), RAN (extended as in a theatre run) and O(ld) for a singer who hits the high notes.

10a         South American bird that’s brown, alongside mature rook (7)
TANAGER – Another one of those birds that is only seen in crosswords. Place TAN (brown) alongside AGE for ‘mature’ and R, the abbreviation for the chess piece, Rook.

11a         Second with exactly what’s needed as instruction for boxer (3)
SIT – The boxer here is a dog that you are trying to train. S for Second and IT meaning ‘the very thing’ (By George, she’s got it!)

12a         Notice situation of pupil to watch, and be of the same mind (3,3,2,3)
SEE EYE TO EYE – To agree or be of the same mind. Another charade of SEE (notice), EYE (the position of a pupil), TO then EYE for watch/look at.

14a         Monarchy certainly not divided by king (6)
NORWAY – An example of a monarchy (as are we). NO WAY means ‘certainly not’. Place R for Rex(King) inside.

15a         A French duke embraced by US politician without being invited (8)
UNBIDDEN. You need to know that the current US Vice President is Joe BIDEN. Start with UN (A in French) then place D for Duke inside Joe’s surname to create a word meaning ‘without being invited’ or unasked.

17a         Overjoyed, leading in heroic transformation (8)
EUPHORIC – Placing UP (leading) in an anagram (transformation) of HEROIC leads to an adjective meaning overjoyed.

19a         Editor replacing first part of authoritative work — it’s OK to scoff (6)
EDIBLE – A substitution clue. The authoritative work is the BIBLE. Replace the first letter with ED(itor). The result is a word meaning ‘safe to eat/scoff’.

22a         In efforts like this, sons take part in quarrel (5,6)
CROSS SWORDS – The efforts like these are the puzzles that you are currently facing. Place S for sons inside and split the result (5,6) to get a synonym for quarrels or rows.

23a         Disparity in blood group grasped by doctor (3)
GAP – A simple enough clue with the checking letters but there are many abbreviations for doctor and 3 single letter blood groups to choose from. GP with A in the middle gives a disparity.

24a         Exaggerate, in part, account given in public (7)
OVERACT – To exaggerate a dramatic performance (part/role). Place AC, the abbreviation for account) in OVERT, meaning in public.

26a         Parts of brain giving Neanderthal a mind to some extent (7)
THALAMI – The plural of THALAMUS is hidden inside (to some extent) NeanderTHAL MInd.

27a         Measures taken about dance competition for English teams (8,6)
FOOTBALL LEAGUE – The competition for the collection of English soccer teams is created by placing BALL (dance) inside two measures of distance, FOOT and LEAGUE.


1d           Transmit piece of text put inside, possibly (4,8,2)
PASS SENTENCE ON – A cryptic definition plus definition. The straight def is ‘put inside (jail), possibly’. The cryptic part is how you might PASS ON (transmit) a SENTENCE (piece of text).

2d           Talk initially with unorthodox priest who can give better advice? (7)
TIPSTER – Start with the Initial letter of Talk then add an unorthodox anagram of PRIEST to find a man who gives advice to a gambler/better. A good surface reading made this a very satisfying clue.

3d           They exchange words between races at international events (11)
TRANSLATORS – A nicely misleading cryptic definition for the people who render foreign languages intelligible for different nationalities (races) at international gatherings (events)

4d           With sweetheart, ran (6)
ELOPED – A gentle definition for running away to Gretna Green to get married.

5d           Caught, perhaps, being inaccurate — a long way off (8)
OUTLYING – A description of something that is a long way off from the centre of e.g. a city. One way of being OUT in cricket is ‘caught’, the perhaps correctly indicating that there are other ways. Follow with LYING, being inaccurate (deliberately) in speech.

6d           Religious woman declared love is the answer (3)
NUN – The member of a sisterhood is also a homophone (declared) of NONE, or what love represents in Tennis.

7d           Principal following urge to be intellectual (7)
EGGHEAD – Put HEAD (principal) after EGG (urge) to get a brainbox or intellectual.

8d           Economic activity in which peers interfere? Not normally (4,10)
FREE ENTERPRISE – Another excellent surface reading. An anagram, indicated by ‘not normally’, of PEERS INTERFERE gives the unrestricted trading activity

13d         Hoi polloi shattered it in disorder (5,6)
THIRD ESTATE – The Hoi polloi are the commoners also known as the Third Estate. Make an anagram (in disorder) of SHATTERED IT.

16d         Endlessly he is at war, that hero of song (8)
HIAWATHA – I’ll use Big Dave’s clue on the day for this one: “Drop the final letters (endlessly) from H(e) I(s) A(t) WA(r) THA(t) to get the hero of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow”

18d         Liable to be affected by onset of emotion, quickly going outside (5,2)
PRONE TO – The definition here is ‘liable to be affected by’. Place E, the first letter (onset) of Emotion, inside PRONTO for quickly.

20d         Major report that started everything, some believe (3,4)
BIG BANG – A charade of BIG (major) and BANG (report) leads to the common name start of the Universe. Virgilius has even added ‘some believe’ at the end to indicate that not everyone holds this view!.

21d         Extremely bitter, upset, antisocial, and vicious (6)
BRUTAL – The outside letters (extremely) of BitteR, UpseT, AntisociaL is a synonym for vicious.

25d         A soldier, for one, repeatedly used in man-to-man tussles (3)
ANT – An insect, a variety of which is a soldier is seen twice (repeatedly) in mAN-To-mAN Tussles

I am back next week on the Saturday review. Crypticsue is sunning herself in Sicily for a couple of weeks so we’ll see who turns up for the Sunday review.

4 comments on “ST 2588

  1. I thought bits of this were tricky at the time, but looking at it again, I’m not sure why.
    Thanks to Virgilius for the enjoyable puzzle, and to gnomethang for the review.

    4d – Isn’t it an &Lit clue – E(swEetheart) Loped(ran).

    1. Think you are correct Jezza – never noticed that but it makes it a very clever clue!

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