ST 2592 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2592

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2592

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!. I’ve stared at this grid seven ways to Sunday and am prepared to stick my neck out and say “There’s no theme in this crossword”!

Let’s see how long it takes for someone to tell me that I am mistaken! Virgilius has given us a fairly straightforward puzzle this week with not too many hints required on the ‘blog 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.

Across

7a           Strict librarian, perhaps, used to suppress reports (8)
SILENCER – A Cryptic definition and definition to start with. A librarian who keeps everyone silent and a device that muffles the bang (report) of a gun.

9a           Quickly and on time, getting coverage from publicity officer (6)
PRONTO – A colloquial term for quickly. Place ON and T(ime) into (getting coverage from) PR – the abbreviation for Public Relations (publicity) –  and O for Officer.

10a         Number of left-wingers put down one by one (6)
ELEVEN – Two cryptic definitions for the number before twelve. Traditionally the left winger wore the number eleven shirt and if you put two ones side by side you get 11 as well.

11a         Court action on behalf of European worker (8)
FOREHAND – A charade of FOR (on behalf of), E(uropean) and HAND (worker) gives a well disguised definition (court action) of a tennis stroke.

12a         Degrees, for example, by which statements can be nuanced (14)
QUALIFICATIONS – The straight definition is degrees, for example (The fact that other qualifications exist requires the use of ‘for example). The cryptic part is the remainder since if one  qualifies a statement one is adding a nuance or small change.

15a         Sign multinational team player (4)
LION – Both a star sign and a member of a team that includes players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – probably most well known in Rugby tours down under.

17a         Composer meaning to create tangle — or the opposite (5)
RAVEL – Effectively a triple definition. The composer of the Bolero (Maurice Ravel) and a verb meaning both to entangle and also its opposite, to disentangle or unweave (onto a spool for example).

19a         One bound to succeed — that’s the irritating part (4)
HEIR – One who is the main benefactor of 1d is included in (PART of) tHE IRritating.

20a         With pride, a BMW you’ll put out, like a social climber (8,6)
UPWARDLY MOBILE – A very well spotted anagram and the surface reading really paints a picture. An anagram (put out) of PRIDE A BMW YOULL gives a definition of a social climber who may also want to drive out in a nice BMW.

23a         Abruptly played toccatas, badly (8)
STACCATO – The musical instruction to play with each note detached (the opposite of ‘legato’) is an anagram (badly) of TOCCATAS.

25a         Get off bus, for example, that’s on fire (6)
ALIGHT – A straightforward double meaning; to get of a bus or train and an adjective meaning ‘on fire’.

27a         Time to put to bed newspaper ready for printing (6)
SUNDOWN – A charade of SUN (newspaper) and DOWN (as in set down ready for priniting on a press) leads to the time of day that heralds bedtime.

28a         Bird giving fruit to brood (8)
NUTHATCH – This wood and parkland bird is a charade of NUT (fruit) and HATCH (to brood or incubate)

Down

1d           Is going to leave (4)
WILL – I will offer Big Dave’s hint on the day: A verb meaning is going to, at some time in the future, also means to leave worldly goods to someone

2d           Weed not half harmful as pest damaging crops (6)
WEEVIL – Take the first half of WE(ed) and add EVIL for harmful. The rest of the clue perfectly defines the little blighter!

3d           Academic not fully supporting head of faculty (4)
PROF – Smooth surface reading caused some problems on the day, for the parsing if not the solving. The definition is ‘Academic not fully’ meaning that we have an abbreviation. Take PRO (for or supporting) and add the first letter (head)of Faculty

4d           Falls over after swallowing one strong drink (6)
SPIRIT – An amusing surface reading distracts you from the fact that you need to take TRIPS (falls) and reverse it (OVER – a good ‘lift and separate of a phrase) then insert I for one (swallowing one).

5d           Repeatedly bear ridicule (4-4)
POOH-POOH – A simple charade for ridicule or belittle. If the answer didn’t go in immediately then the repetition in the checking letters would have done the job I am sure.

6d           Total stoppage, one way and another, leading to harm (10)
STANDSTILL – A synonym of gridlock or a complete mechanical failure. A charade of ST AND ST (one way, STreet and another STreet) followed by (leading to) ILL for harm.

8d           Leader of Indians having powwow around tree (7)
CONIFER – This was a nicely misleading clue as the most obvious way to parse the clue is to put a chat around a tree to get an Indian monarch. In fact we need quite the reverse; place CONFER (having powwow) around I, the leader of Indians, to get an evergreen tree.

13d         Quietly leaving pub, exit midst evidence of debt found everywhere (10)
UBIQUITOUS – One of my favourite words from the Latin UBIQUE, everywhere. Remove P (piano – quietly) from pUB, then add QUIT (exit) into IOUS – the ubiquitous evidence of debts in Crosswordland!

14d         A kind of war, circa 1650 (5)
CIVIL – A very good clue since the English civil war is generally agreed to be between 1642 and 1651. If you spilt 1650 as 1 6 & 50 then convert to the Roman Numeral equivalent you get I VI & L. Add that to C for Circa (about) to get the answer.

16d         Source of information those at bridge table had on other players (8)
NEWSCAST – The four players in a game of bridge are referred to as North East West and South. Follow them with CAST (a group of theatrical players) to reveal a source of current information.

18d         Thrash amateur boxer, initially, in final (7)
LAMBAST – A verb meaning to thrash or severely reprimand. Put AM (the abbreviation of Amateur as in Am-Dram) and B, the initial letter of Boxer, into LAST, final.

21d         Is responsive in spiritual instruction on part of NT (6)
REACTS – Another charade, this time of RE (Religious Education or Spiritual Instruction) followed by ACTS (of the apostles), part of the New Testament following the Gospels. The definition is ‘is responsive to’.

22d         Like party involved in union, audibly take offence (6)
BRIDAL – An adjective for ‘of the bride’ is a homophone (audibly) of a verb meaning to take offence or bristle.

24d         It comes from what’s in pen, with ring on, perhaps (4)
OINK – My favourite clue on the day!. Virgilius has spotted that INK comes from a pen and that pigs live in a pen (sty or enclosure) and that they often have a ring in their noses. Thus the whole clue serves as a definition meaning the noise that a pig makes and the wordplay is add INK to O (a ring, circle).

26d         A white pawn (4)
HOCK – A very good double definition. HOCK is a variety of sweet German wine (a white) and also a verb meaning to pawn at a pawnbroker. The sentence simply looks like a chess piece. Economical and excellent!.

Thanks to Virgilius for another entertaining Sunday puzzle. I am back next week for the Saturday puzzles with Crypticsue on the Sunday detail.

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