Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2601
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***
After two weeks of puzzles with messages and themes, Virgilius returns to a straightforward yet beautifully crafted example of a Sunday prize puzzle. Didn’t take me long but I did enjoy myself, my top favourite being 19d although my ‘also-rans’ are highlighted in blue too.
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1a Consumer group’s early round-table talks (5,9)
POWER BREAKFAST – A cryptic definition of high-level business or political discussions held early in the morning over breakfast.
9a Dutch scholar for whom problems exist? Just the reverse (7)
ERASMUS – The name of the Dutch scholar, humanist and theologian ERASMUS is, as the clue indicates, a reversal of SUMS (problems) and ARE (exist).
10a Fashionable journey, taking in a city in US (7)
CHICAGO – The largest city in the State of Illinois is a charade of CHIC (fashionable) A (from the clue) and GO (journey, travel).
11a Shares of his own, initially, as part of Brit’s capital (4)
SOHO – A famous, or possibly infamous , district of London is found in the first letters (initially) of Shares Of His Own.
12a Somebody with phoney complaints, type who hangs around with graduate (10)
MALINGERER – Someone who feigns sickness – MA (someone who has graduated as a Master of Arts) and LINGERER (someone reluctant to leave).
14a Bad behaviour at sea from Irish in fleet (6)
PIRACY – Inserting IR(ish) into PACY (here fleet means swift, fast or lively) – the bad behaviour is high robbery at sea.
15a Distress signal used by editor put in isolated position (8)
MAROONED – Put and leave ashore on a desolate island – MAROON (a firework used as a distress signal) and ED (editor).
17a Painstaking, albeit poetically imprecise (8)
THOROUGH – An adjective meaning done with great attention to detail – THO (the way a poet might write though (albeit) and ROUGH (inexact, unpolished, without attention to minute correctness).
18a Soldier who shoots wading bird and then rook (6)
SNIPER – A combination of ornithology and chess: the wading bird is the SNIPE and R is the symbol for the Rook or Castle in chess. Put the two together to get a soldier who uses a rifle to shoot at individuals from a position of cover.
21a Disregarded ring lover foolishly accepted (10)
OVERLOOKED – A synonym for disregarded is an anagram (foolishly) of LOVER, followed by O (ring) and OKED (OK’ed or accepted).
22a Become irritated and fight (4)
FRAY – a double definition – Strain on the nerves causing irritation or a brawl/fight.
24a Poor farmer coming from Europe, as anticipated (7)
PEASANT – A member of a lowly class of farmers is hidden in (coming from) EuroPE AS ANTicipated.
25a Officer from company leading unit between lines (7)
COLONEL – A senior army officer is found in CO (company) followed by L and L (lines) into which is inserted (between lines) a unit of ONE.
26a Quartet, perhaps, whose moving performance can help after tragedy (9,5)
STRETCHER PARTY – A cryptic definition of four (or perhaps more) people who carry the wounded from a battlefield or football pitch.
1d Exercise in papers at university (5-2)
PRESS-UP – A gymnastic exercise performed face down, raising the body on the arms, while keeping the trunk and legs rigid is a charade of PRESS (newspapers and periodicals generally) and UP (in residence at a university).
2d Met expectations? (7,8)
WEATHER FORECAST –Met here refers to the Meteorological Office responsible for forecasting the weather expected in the next couple of days.
3d Are you, say, one of those elected for this historical parliament? (4)
RUMP – RU is are you said out loud (say). An MP is one who is elected to Parliament. The historical RUMP Parliament was the name given to the English Parliament until 1660 being those MPs left after the removal of those against the plan to try King Charles I for high treason.
4d A scoundrel or a scallywag, to some extent (6)
RASCAL – To some extent indicates that a scoundrel or scallywag is hidden in oR A SCALlywag.
5d Like material collected in chapter penned by a competitor (8)
ARCHIVAL – An adjective relating to records kept in an archive. Insert the abbreviation for chapter – CH – into A RIVAL (a competitor).
6d Start including broadcast by monarch in place of entertainment (10)
FAIRGROUND – This place of entertainment is a collection of amusements. Insert AIR (broadcast) and GR (the abbreviation for the monarch George Rex) into FOUND (start, originate).
7d Fellow with whom you come to blows, in practice (8,7)
SPARRING PARTNER – A cryptic definition of your practice partner when you are preparing for a boxing match, where blows will be exchanged.
8d Steamy gossip brought up about old king (6)
TORRID – An adjective meaning intensely passionate or steamy – Reverse DIRT (spiteful gossip) and insert O (old) and R (Rex, or king).
13d A lot of fish male consumed, or person having similar courses (10)
SCHOOLMATE – Someone sharing courses of lessons with you. The collective noun for fish a SCHOOL , M (male)and ATE (consumed).
16d Acting so badly, like someone not operating in good faith? (8)
AGNOSTIC – a person who claims neither belief or non-belief in God is an anagram (badly) of ACTING SO.
17d Figure of speech about high-class theatrical company (6)
TROUPE – A company of theatrical performers is obtained by inserting U (high or upper class) into a TROPE (a figure of speech where a word or expression is used in other than its literal sense).
19d It’s rewarding for author such as James, Henry or Lear, Edward (7)
ROYALTY – Clue of the day. James, Henry, Lear and Edward are all names of kings so could be collectively known as ROYALTY. This being a double definition clue, ROYALTY can also be a payment made to an author for every copy of their work that is sold.
20d Secure after capsizing, perhaps (6)
RESCUE – An anagram (capsizing) of SECURE is what you might need if your boat was to capsize.
23d Comrades turning up for strike (4)
SLAP – Reverse (turning up) PALS or comrades to produce a noun meaning to strike with the hand.
Will I get Virgilius with a theme or in pussycat mode next week? Only time will tell.