ST 2589 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2589

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2589

A full review by Prolixic

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 BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Crypticsue is sunning herself in foreign climes so I have the honour the blogging a Virgilius crossword for the first time.  This was not Virgilius at his most devious but even with his more straightforward crosswords there are the usual penny drop moments, supreme craftsmanship in the clues and all round enjoyment.  Many thanks to him for the Sunday morning treat.

After last week’s triple letter solutions, I was on the look out for any similar themes or devices in the grid but was not able to spot any.

I have highlighted my favourite clues in blue, top of which were the wonderfully misleading 4d and great all in one clue in 11d.
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 Athlete filmed in front of golf club (4-6)
SHOT PUTTER – A type of athlete comes from SHOT (filmed) plus PUTTER (golf club).

6a For instance, one area that covers much of the planet (4)
ASIA – A landmass that covers much of the planet comes from AS (for instance) (not IE on this occasion) plus an I (one) and A (area).

9a A variety of exotics share the same habitat (7)
COEXIST – A word that means to share the same habitat is an anagram (a variety of) EXOTICS.

10a Occupy shortly, without husband (7)
INHABIT – A word meaning to occupy comes from an expression IN A BIT (shortly) into which an H (husband) is included.

12a Creative discussions note origin of heavy fall in German capital (13)
BRAINSTORMING – A word for creative discussions (often used in business meetings) from a B (musical note) plus RAINSTORM (origin of a heavy fall) plus IN and then G (German capital).

14a Not so polite about dean, initially, as course director (6)
RUDDER – A course director (that steers the course of a boat) comes from RUDER (not so polite) into which is inserted a D (dean initially).

15a One’s put on before one’s taken off (4,4)
SEAT BELT – A cryptic definition of the safety device that must be fastened in a car before one’s taken off.

17a Count, for example, including number 1000 in British list (8)
NOBLEMAN – A count is an example of the answer.  It comes from an abbreviation for number NO plus a B (for British) and LEAN (list) into which is put an M (1000 in Roman numerals).

19a Power with which wild cat makes sudden attack (6)
POUNCE – A word describing a sudden attack comes from a P (power) plus OUNCE (wild cat).

22a Loveless marriage, say, with one bloke? That’s foolish (13)
UNINTELLIGENT – A word meaning foolish comes from UNION with the O removed (loveless marriage) plus TELL (say) and I GENT (one bloke).

24a Firm connection with monarch in social circle (7)
COTERIE – A word for a social circle comes from CO (firm or company) plus ER (monarch) inside TIE (connection).

25a Owns something soft below the knee, as this is (7)
HASSOCK – Something on which you kneel during a service in church comes from HAS (owns) plus SOCK (something soft below the knee).

26a Contest truth of study and its conclusion (4)
DENY – A word meaning contest comes from DEN (study) pus Y (conclusion of study).

27a Get awfully drunk, finally, and streak — like this (5,5)
STARK NAKED – A expression describing the state of undress of a streaker comes from an anagram (awfully) of K (the last letter of drunk) AND STREAK.

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d Dismissal in place of retirement (4)
SACK – A double definition.  A word for a dismissal or redundancy has the same meaning as the proverbial thing that you are said to hit if going to bed.

2d Offer too much in old part of speech I had shortened (7)
OVERBID – A word meaning offer too much comes from an O (old) plus VERB (part of speech) amd ID (I had shortened).

3d Soldier and other ranks embracing cult? It’s none of the state’s business (7,6)
PRIVATE SECTOR – According to right wing politicians this area of commerce is something in which the state should not interfere.  The answer is PRIVATE (soldier) and OR (abbreviation for other ranks), inside which is placed (embracing) SECT (cult).

4d Cuts some slack, so to speak, for powerful people (6)
TITANS – A word describing powerful people is a homophone (so to speak) of TIGHTENS (cuts some slack).  A clever use of cut some slack which figurative means to loosen but read literally means to reduce the amount of slack.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d Work of man of letters included in book collection (8)
EPISTLES – A double definition.  A word for a book collection (the letters in the New Testament) describes the work of a man who writes several letters.

7d Sink warship north of port, perhaps (7)
SUBSIDE – A word meaning sink comes SUB (submarine – a type of warship) plus SIDE (port perhaps (port – as in left – is an example of a side).

8d It’s completely, or only partly, crucial to get here (10)
ALTOGETHER – A word for completely is hidden inside the final four letters of the clue CRUCIAL TO GET THERE.

11d Lo, nation’s hero at sea (7,6)
HORATIO NELSON – A lovely all in one clue.  An English naval hero of the Battle of Trafalgar and other campaigns is an anagram (at sea) of LO NATIONS HERO.

13d Sounded conspicuous (10)
PROUNOUNCED – A double definition.  A word for sounded (as in enunciated) has the same meaning as a word meaning conspicuous – as in he had a pronounced limp.

16d 17 and I set out first (8)
EARLIEST – A word meaning first (in time) comes from an example of a nobleman (the answer to 17a) followed by an anagram (out) of I SET.

18d Composer liable to be shy when king enters (7)
BRITTEN – An English composer (noted for many works including the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra) comes from a BITTEN (liable to by shy – as in once bitten twice shy) inside which is put an R for King (Rex).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d Business group’s short time in New York, missing centre (7)
NETWORK – A business group for companies sharing a common interest comes from putting a T (short time) inside NEW YORK with the Y (the central letter of that phrase) removed.

21d It introduces alternatives, i.e. number over one (6)
EITHER – A word that introduces alternatives as in EITHER this or that, comes from ETHER (a number (crossword land speak for an anaesthetic)) inside which (over in a down clue) is put an I (one).

23d Lose control, in a way, as small child (4)
SKID – A word for losing control on the road (in a way) comes from an S (for small) followed by KID (child).

2 comments on “ST 2589

  1. Hi Prolixic. Thanks for a great review of a great puzzle, and alswo thanks for the car piccie! I’ve not really been able to find an excuse on the last couple of Wednesdays!
    11d deinitely my favourite on this one.
    Thanks Virgilius – you keep us on our toes!

  2. Really enjoyed this one – some clues stretched my brain to the limit but I finished it. 2 stars tells me I am still a novice.
    Re 7d – I never thought of left (side) I got the answer from Port Side in Egypt!
    Thanks to Virgillus for the workout and Prolixic for the explanations.

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