ST 2599 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2599

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2599

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All!. In common with many of the weekend crosswords last week Virgilius used the occasion to send his BEST WISHES to JOHN (Halpern, setting as Paul in the Guardian and Punk in the Indy) and his wife TALINE on their wedding day. These words are hidden in the unchecked letters in rows 4,6, 10 & 12. I’m sure we all echo those sentiments. We had the usual very enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius with some great images created.

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1a           Fruit grew with it (7)
ROSEHIP – A charade of ROSE (grew) and HIP (with it, baby!) is a fruit of the rose bush

5a           Fiasco as vehicle reversed by unqualified driver goes into river (7)
DEBACLE – Place the reverse of CAB (vehicle) and L(for learner driver) inside the reiver DEE. The result is a Fiasco or catastrophe.

9a           After very short time, I bet, this’ll make you dizzy (7)
VERTIGO – A charade of VER(y), T(ime) and I GO for ‘I bet’ for a condition that causes dizziness.

10a         Bad marks in audition for place in London area (7)
STAINES – Sounds like (in audition) a stain on a shirt for example. It is about 10 miles from me now as I am in a hotel in Slough (worse than Staines!)

11a         English horse, mostly quiet type, like Black Beauty (9)
EPONYMOUS – The answer means that the name of a character is the name of the book/play/movie just like ‘Black Beauty’, a book by Anna Sewell. It is a charade of E(nglish), PONY (horse) and all but the last letter of a MOUSE(e), a quiet type. Surface reading made this a very satisfying solve.

12a         Where some Italian citizens live — in Naples, i.e., Napoli? (5)
SIENA – another Italian city is hidden in Naples, i.e., Napoli

13a         Import from various quarters once or twice (5)
SENSE – The import or meaning 9of a phrase for example). This is made up from letters denoting various quarters of the globe, in this case 2 times S(outh), two times E(ast) and one N(orth).

15a         Unusually tiny trace, no doubt (9)
CERTAINTY – A positively assured anagram (unusually) of TINY TRACE means that there is no doubt to the answer!.

17a         After my boss and I reorganised, is in a win-win situation (9)
SYMBIOSIS – A mutually beneficial (win-win) relationship between two different species. Make an anagram (reorganised) of MY BOSS and I. ‘after’ here is not padding but merely suggests that AFTER (making the anagram) there IS a ‘win-win situation’

19a         Precisely trace fishing-boat (5)
SMACK – A lovely triple definition. Smack in the middle is precisely in the middle, a trace of (of a taste or smell) is a smack and so is a small trawler or fishing-boat. Lovely.

22a         Small insect concealed on a plant, initially (5)
APHID – put HID (concealed) after (ON in an across cue means AFTER) A and the initial letter of Plant. A small green insect beloved of ladybirds.

23a         European saint venerated? Not out East (9)
AUGUSTINE – A 4th Century Roman who was canonised (a saint). AUGUST means venerated, high or noble. Just add IN (not out in cricket) and E for East.

25a         Practise deceit, like Disraeli as PM (3-4)
TWO-TIME – To cheat (deceive) a partner and also a description of Benjamin Disraeli who held two terms of office as Prime Minister.

26a         Rent home with American author (2,5)
IN TWAIN – IN (Home) and TWAIN (Mark, the US author and quipper of many quotations). Rent means ‘ripped apart’ for which the answer is a slightly old synonym.

27a         Romantically committed – having good time, in conclusion (7)
ENGAGED – Romantically committed to marriage, as in John and Taline were prior to the day of this crossword’s publication. Place G(good) and AGE (time) inside END (conclusion).

28a         Clobber bloke holding weapon (7)
GARMENT – GENT, a bloke, with ARM (weapon) inside, holding being the container indicator.


1d           Notices I swerve all over the place (7)
REVIEWS – These theatrical notices are an anagram (‘all over the place’) of I SWERVE. Again, excellent surface reading.

2d           I run into lions scrambling for meat (7)
SIRLOIN – A cut of steak is an anagram of I and R (run in cricket notation) inside a scrambling anagram of LIONS.

3d           Having a shock, perhaps, can be dangerous (5)
HAIRY – A double definition. Having a shock of hair and an adjective for dangerous.

4d           Trunk, for example, for leader in charge held up (9)
PROBOSCIS – A trunk or nasal appendage. ‘for leader’ may be stated as PRO BOSS. Place (held) and reverse (up) IC for In Charge inside the former.

5d           Manages to fit in small amounts of treatment (5)
DOSES – DOES (manages or achieves) with S(mall) inside gives a measured amount of a medicinal treatment.

6d           Captain and others showing effrontery to bowlers, maybe (5,4)
BRASS HATS – A lovely charade of BRASS (effrontery, ‘brass neck’, bold as brass’) and HATS (of which bowlers are a type). The definition is ‘Captain and others’, the bigwigs at the top of any organisation.

7d           Water container in restaurant in service area? (7)
CANTEEN – A double definition. An army issue water bottle and also the mess room (restaurant) in the service area of a large store or hotel, for example.

8d           Drug abused in sect, say (7)
ECSTASY – An abused anagram of SECT SAY – IN here appears to be a link word which omproves the surface.

14d         Criminal acts, for instance, including a lot of vile murder (4-5)
EVIL-DOING – A well worked insertion type clue for ‘criminal acts’. Place all but the last letter if VIL€ and DO IN (murder) inside E.G. (for instance). Top stuff!.

16d         Ruling about head of state leaving office (9)
RESIGNING – Place the first letter (head) of State inside REIGNING (ruling). The definition is ‘leaving office’.

17d         Rattles when it’s false alarm (7)
STARTLE – When you make an anagram of RATTLES (i.e. when its false) you get a verb meaning alarm or shock.

18d         Game John reviewed in short publication (3-4)
MAH JONG – An anagram (reviewed) GAME JOHN for a Chinese tiled game.

20d         Living in Manhattan, I’m a tenant (7)
ANIMATE – A word for living is hidden in manhattan, I’m a tenant

21d         Having played successfully, there’ll be a catch in it (7)
KEEPNET – A cryptic definition plus definition. A successful goalie with a clean sheet will KEEP his NET which is also a large net for holding fish.

23d         For each person, it’s in the future (5)
AHEAD – Split as (1,4) this means ‘for each person’ or ‘per capita’. Also the future lies ahead.

24d         Instrument — one embraced by George Harrison, for one (5)
SITAR – A lovely clue to finish. George Harrison is an example of a STAR. Adding one gives an instrument that he has recorded on.

Thanks to Virgilius for the cracking puzzle. I’ll be back next week for more of the same.