ST 2596 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2596

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2596

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All!. We have another non-themed puzzle from Virgilius which was not overly difficult but was of the usual high standard of cluemanship and enjoyment. A pleasure to solve and to review.

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           Plan withdrawal of US troops in retreat (6)
DESIGN – A reversal (withdrawal) of GIS (US Troops the abbreviation is Government Issue) inside DEN, a haven or retreat. The definition is plan.

4a           Small, fast stroke in hurried piece of writing (6)
SCRAWL – A charade of S(mall) and CRAWL, a fast swimming stroke, for a piece of untidy writing.

8a           Prisoner punished, in a way — kept inside (8)
CONFINED – A synonym for kept inside or gated is a charade of CON (prisoner) and FINED (punished, in a way).

10a         Performer on horseback in show (4,2)
TURN UP – A performer on stage is the ‘TURN’. Follow this with UP, the usual word for ‘on horseback’ to get a phrase meaning ‘show’.

11a         Notice conclusions reached by judge mess up jury (4)
ESPY – A verb meaning ‘notice’ is made from the last letters (conclusions reached by) judgE mesS uP jurY.

12a         Secures inside room for very low rate (6,4)
SNAILS PACE – A very low rate of movement. NAILS (secures) inside SPACE (room).

13a         Scale of sin reviewed, on going inside this? (12)
CONFESSIONAL – A nicely constructed clue for the small closet where one confesses one’s sins. An anagram (reviewed) of SCALE OF SIN with ON included (going inside).

16a         Stupid giant’s action showing opposition (12)
ANTAGONISTIC – A stupid anagram of GIANTS ACTION gives an adjective meaning ‘showing opposition’.

20a         Ordinary people — they’re in ground at Wimbledon (5-5)
GRASS ROOTS – A phrase for the hoi polloi or ordinary people is also the base of what grows on the courts at Wimbledon.

21a         Positive feeling coming from hard work and energy (4)
HOPE – A charade of H(ard) OP (Opus a piece of musical work) and E(nergy) for a positive feeling that all will be well in the future.

22a         Make a singular request and leave! (6)
BEGONE – Add ONE  (singular) to BEG (request) to get an imperative meaning shoo! or vamoose!.

23a         Splendid joke I found in computer (8)
MAJESTIC – Place JEST (joke) and I inside MAC (a computer) for an adjective meaning ‘splendid’.

24a         Demolish in effort that may bring end to war (6)
TREATY – A lovely construction that always foxes me!. ‘Demolish ‘ means to EAT or devour. Insert this into TRY to get an armistice or ceasefire.

25a         Express negative response in article (6)
OBJECT – A double definition here with the IN looking like padding to me!. ‘Express negative response’ means to OBJECT as a verb and an OBJECT as a noun may be a definite or indefinite article when treated as a noun.


1d           Gentle attempt to make a point in court (4,4)
DROP SHOT – I loved this!. A cryptic definition that looks like an attorney chiding the opposition in a judicial hearing. In fact Virgilius is describing how one might play a gentle shot on a tennis court thus enabling one to secure a point. The whole surface reading is typical of Mr Greer’s slant on words. Top Stuff!

2d           Weak fool among victims of tyrant (5)
SOFTY – Were I putting pictures up (does anyone have any opinions?) then I would post ‘Walter the Softy’ from the ‘Dennis the Menace’ cartoon in the ‘Beano’. The weak fool is hidden in (among) in the last three words

3d           Start seeing changes with start of summer (7)
GENESIS – A word for the start of anything or a particular start to the world as some believers know it. In any case, the positioning of the definition at the origin of the clue doesn’t help the solver (or the agnostic!). Make an anagram (changes) of SEEING and add the start of S(ummer)

5d           Endlessly can talk, and in language of Spain (7)
CATALAN – Another well built clue. If you remove the last letters (endlessly) from ‘CAn TALk  ANd’ you get a language in Spain favoured by those wishing to be independent.

6d           Cultivated plant in a bad soil in ancient citadel (9)
ACROPOLIS – An ancient citadel is the definition . CROP (Cultivated plant) inside A + an anagram (bad of SOIL)

7d           Boat put in water (6)
LAUNCH – An excellent double definition. A launch is a small boat and also the act of setting a boat into the water.

9d           Contract stable employee to make part of house (7,4)
DRAWING ROOM – Start with DRAW IN (contract) and GROOM  (stable employee) and then reconfigure as (7,4) for part of the house into which gentlemen might withdraw (to drink, smoke tabs and talk about the fairer sex!)

14d         Standard weight for a paving slab (9)
FLAGSTONE – Great charade for the slab that you stand on . A FLAG is a standard (the Royal Standard is a good example) and STONE is a weight

15d         Precisely locate origin of pain within head (8)
PINPOINT – The start (origin) of P(ain), IN (within) and POINT (head or promontory) gives a verb meaning nail down or ‘precisely locate’.

17d         Gold found in river, fast-moving stream (7)
TORRENT – The fast moving stream is found by inserting OR, the heraldic term for gold, inside the river TRENT.

18d         Surgery one’s botched with unfortunate man who was patient (4,3)
NOSE JOB – An unfortunate description of a bungled rhinoplasty operation. A botched anagram of ONES followed by JOB, the biblical character who is synonymous with patience and forbearance in the eyes of the Lord.

19d         Keen to make impression, supporting a monarch (6)
ARDENT – Keen here means to be fanatical or have  burning desire. Place A R (The abbreviation for either Rex or Regina, monarch) on top of DENT, an impression. ‘Supporting’ in a down clue indicates that the word is underneath I’e’ supporting or holding up the former word.

21d         Hostility surrounding second expedition (5)
HASTE – Expedition is a slightly victorian way of saying speed or celerity. HATE (hostility) goes around S(econd)

I have two weeks of Saturday detail to attend to and Crypticsue will take you through the next two Sunday puzzles.

7 comments on “ST 2596

  1. In answer to your question, Gnomey, clearly the Sat & Sun reviews don’t get the numbers of hits as the daily puzzles attract. I’m sure that’s purely down to folk looking forward to this weekend, rather than last, and nothing to do with the undoubted quality of the reviews. Would including pix & links change this? I doubt it, but if you feel the urge I for one wouldn’t complain! Thanks to you & Mr. G for this one.

  2. I always enjoy reading these full reviews, appreciate the meticulous work that goes into them, and find it very useful to check that the intended reading of each clue has got through.

    1. Thanks for dropping in again Brian. I know that everyone on this site really appreciates the fact that they can get some feedback from the setters. Personally the Sunday Telegraph is the highlight of the week and the review is as much fun as the solving (crypticsue will confirm!). I’ll buy you a pint when you are next back in the UK!

  3. Hi Gnomey, excellent review of an excellent puzzle! Thanks to you and Virgilius.
    I think most of the comments are posted on the day of the puzzle and by Friday most people have moved on but I’m pretty sure BD would be able to tell you how many views the page gets..
    I always look at the weekend reviews for the entertainment value, and to find ideas for my next blog! (I freely admit that during 20 years in marketing most of my best ideas were plagarised from competitors!).
    Some piccies might liven the thing up though, especially racing cars/motorbikes or scantily clad ladies!

    1. 53 more people looked so far today at my review of last Saturday’s puzzle than looked at this one of Gnomey’s. Whether that has anything to do with the pic of the iron man and his two admiring scantily clad ladies, who knows :D

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