ST 2598 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2598

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2598

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ***

Well this one certainly divided the blog posters on Sunday.   We either thought it was straightforward or tricky, the latter ‘camp’ finding  the right hand side being particularly slow in penny-dropping moments.   I was in the ‘tricky’ corner but having now gone through all the wordplay for this review, I am not entirely sure why.

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           A rash paper upset state, in other words (10)
PARAPHRASE –  a verb meaning, as the clue says, to state in other words,  is an anagram (upset) of A RASH PAPER.

6a           Drivers aim to avoid this horse-drawn vehicle (4)
TRAP –  A double definition – the name of a type of horse-drawn vehicle is also an alternative name for a bunker on a golf  course – a hazard which a player  would wish to avoid if at all possible! Drivers here referring to golf clubs with wooden or metal heads, used to drive the ball from the tee.

9a           A head collecting fine for offence (7)
AFFRONT –  the offence here is a type of open insult.   A (from the clue) and FRONT  (head) with F inserted (collecting Fine – an abbreviation used on lead pencils).

10a         Finish off mice scattered throughout a neighbourhood (7)
ENDEMIC – An adjective meaning prevalent in a particular area or neighbourhood –   END (finish off) and EMIC (scattered  indicates that an anagram of MICE is required).

12a         Wet area resulting from broken banks or flood around river (7,6)
NORFOLK BROADS – I have spent some very nice holidays visiting this area of wetland which  is an anagram (broken) of BANKS OR FLOOD placed around  R (river).

14a         Outré in the extreme, as not even Parisian is (6)
ODDEST –  Outré is an adjective meaning extreme,  beyond what is proper or fantastic.   ODD (not even!) and EST (the French word for is, used by Parisians as well as residents of other French towns and cities).

15a         A part of our navy engaged in carrying soldiers and resources for war (8)
ARMAMENT – Resources for war:  A (from the clue)  RM (The Royal Marines – soldiers who are part of the Navy) followed by AT (engaged in) into which has been inserted MEN (carrying soldiers).

17a         I.e. blend I mixed that’s no good to consumer (8)
INEDIBLE – An adjective meaning not good to eat or consume is an anagram (mixed) of I E BLEND.

19a         German author travels the old-fashioned way East (6)
GOETHE –  A quick look on Wikipedia confirms that Goethe more than just an author, although I suspect that is how most people would think of him.   GOETH (an archaic term for the third person singular present tense of GO, or put more simply:  travels, or goes, the old-fashioned way) followed by E for East.

22a         Opening statement for meeting after PM arrives (4,9)
GOOD AFTERNOON – PM here means afternoon, not the Prime Minister.  So GOOD AFTERNOON would be what  you would say when meeting someone Post Meridiem or in the afternoon.

24a         Citizen of modern state taking lead from British statesman (7)
ISRAELI –  Removing or taking the lead from DISRAELI, the British statesman who was twice Prime Minister, leaves a citizen of the modern state of Israel.

25a         Upwardly mobile type, Conservative and flexible (7)
CLIMBER – A person who is intent on their own social advancement or upward mobility:  C (Conservative) followed by LIMBER (adjective meaning flexible, pliant or supple).

26a         Open wide, in big aperture (4)
GAPE – A verb meaning to open the mouth wide is fairly obviously hidden in biG APErture.

27a         In middle of a decade, second time it’s extremely dry (10)
THIRSTIEST – I wasn’t the only person for whom this adjective meaning parched or extremely thirsty was the last one in.   The decade required here is the THIRTIES into which is inserted S (second) and then T for Time is added at the end. 


1d           Perform song with piano as form of entertainment (4)
PLAY – A dramatic performance  – P (piano) followed by LAY (a short narrative or lyrical poem which is intended to be sung).

2d           Pure kind of brandy found in Burgundy, say (7)
REFINED – Something pure or more cultured – FINE (ordinary French brandy) is found in, or inserted into, RED (the type of wine which comes from Burgundy).

3d           Under pressure, foolishly arrest action, hence delay (13)
PROCRASTINATE – A verb meaning to delay or put off what should be done:  an anagram (foolishly) of ARREST ACTION is placed after (under) P (the symbol for pressure used in physics).

4d           Helping from ten to nine, say, to noon (6)
RATION – A fixed allowance or helping of something is an easy charade of RATIO (what 10 : 9  might be) followed by N (noon).

5d           People on stage required to stand and deliver? (8)

SPEAKERS – the clue is a cryptic definition of people required to stand on a public stage and deliver a speech.

7d           Disorderly behaviour from a politician in anger (7)
RAMPAGE – Chambers  splendidly defines rampage as “turbulently or aggressively excited behaviour or rushing about”.  One of many straightforward clues today – just insert A (from the clue) and MP (politician, Member of Parliament) into RAGE (anger).

8d           One who takes the lead, initially (with due respect to me?) (10)
PACESETTER – Someone who takes the lead at the start of a race is a charade of PACE (a Latin term meaning with due respect to, with the permission of) and SETTER (Virgilius refers to himself as me, ie the SETTER of the crossword).

11d         Mistakenly got almost dire person providing superficial treatment (13)
DERMATOLOGIST – A specialist providing treatment to the skin (the superficial surface of the body) is an anagram (mistakenly) of GOT ALMOST DIRE.

13d         Packaging token of partnership in place of fighting (6,4)
BOXING RING – The arena where a fight or boxing match takes place.   BOXING (packaging) and RING (a token of partnership such as an engagement or wedding ring).

16d         Fit badly in fancy sole, say (8)
FLATFISH – A sole is a type of flatfish.   An anagram (badly) of FIT inserted into FLASH (fancy or ostentatious).

18d         English essay on stimulating experience that increases one’s self-esteem (3,4)
EGO TRIP  – An action or experience that inflates one’s good opinion of oneself – a charade of  E (English) GO (essay here meaning try or attempt) and TRIP (a stimulating or hallucinatory experience, usually brought about by the consumption of a drug such as LSD).

20d         Not too hard to defend with one incompetent in football team? (7)
TENABLE –  My Clue of the Day.    There are eleven players in a football team; if one was incompetent that would mean that TEN [were] ABLE or competent.   Run the two words together to get an adjective meaning capable of being defended.

21d         An invigorating drink or two? Right (6)
BRACER – An informal term for a strong alcoholic drink intended to give one strength –  BRACE (two, a pair, or a couple) followed by R (right).

23d         Jester hiding king’s document from court (4)
WRIT – A legal document issued by a court –  WIT (a jester is a person endowed with WIT or humour) ‘hiding’, ie with, R (Rex, King) inserted.

Thanks once again to Virgilius – I did like 12a, 14a, and 19a, but my favourite of the day has to be the splendid 20d.   Gnomey will be back on Sunday duty next week – will Virgilius have given us something straightforward, tricky or spectacular to solve? – I can’t wait to find out.

2 comments on “ST 2598

  1. Thanks to Virgilus ffor a very enjoyable crossword and to Crypticsue for the very fine review.

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