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.