ST 2602 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2602

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2602

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A trickier offering from Virgilius this week with great clues and enjoyment factor throughout.  Lots of ‘read the clue carefully’ and hidden words all added to make this solver at least very happy at the end of the Sunday morning brain stretcher.  My favourite clues are highlighted in blue, my top favourite being 26a. 

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           French gesture that may be vulgar or improper (8)
FRACTION – A mathematical term for a part of a number, which can be termed vulgar or improper  is a charade of FR (French) and ACTION (gesture).

9a           Cut out holding gold, get rid of possessions (8)
EXORCISE – Not an exercise in de-cluttering the home as here the ‘possessions’ are evil spirits –   EXORCISE means to  get rid of evil spirits by driving them away  – insert OR (gold) into EXCISE (cut out).

10a         Nigerian email, say, computers returned (4)
SCAM –  Reverse MACS (the Apple MAC is a well known brand of computer) to get SCAMS, email requests, which mainly seem to originate in Nigeria,  which claim to want to let you share good fortune, but supplying your bank account details as requested is more likely to result in your suffering great loss.

11a         Query raised by politician, perhaps, but not soldier? (5,2,5)
POINT OF ORDER – A question raised in debate might be perfectly acceptable in Parliament, but a soldier questioning the POINT OF [an] ORDER he had been given, would be in big trouble.

13a         Checked after a short time, and confirmed (8)
ATTESTED –  Confirmed and proved – A (from the clue) T (time) and TESTED (checked and proved).

15a         Funds and money endlessly released (6)
UNDONE – I stared at the obvious in this clue for quite some moments!  ‘Endlessly’ instructs that you ignore the outside letters of both fUNDs and mONEy and then run the remaining letters together to get UNDONE – released or untied.

16a         Design on coin, fifty pence piece (4)
TYPE –  A noun meaning the device or design on a coin is hidden in (a piece of) fifTY PEnce.

17a         Called upon to put new money ahead of old (5)
PAGED – Called by a page, a pager or a public address system:   P (the symbol for a penny in the ‘new’ system of currency followed by AGED (old).

18a         Piano’s part in works of Tchaikovsky (4)
SOFT –  The musical instruction to play musical softly is piano.   Piano equals soft which is hidden (part in) workS OF Tchaikovsky.

20a         Preserved in container, in easily digestible form (6)
POTTED – A double definition –in addition to meaning  food cooked or preserved in a pot or container which is usually soft and easy to eat,  POTTED can also refer to a book or musical work which has been condensed or abridged to make it more accessible to the reader  or listener.

21a         Order from court, variety of bean soup (8)
SUBPOENA  – I knew my time watching Perry Mason in the late 50s/early 60s wasn’t wasted!  An anagram (variety of) BEAN SOUP makes a court order commanding witness attendance or submission of a document.

23a         American writer game to see Thames landmark (6,6)
LONDON BRIDGE –  The American writer is Jack LONDON who was famous for Call of the Wild and White Fang written at the beginning of the 20th Century.    Follow this with the card game BRIDGE to get the famous London landmark, often confused  by tourists with Tower Bridge further along the river Thames.

26a         Rule or controlling device pronounced the epitome of what’s right (4)
RAIN –  If you say REIGN (rule) or REIN (controlling device) out loud (pronounced) they sound like RAIN, the epitome of what’s right as expressed in the informal expression right as rain.  

27a         E.g. Dickens story’s opening in violent disorder (8)
NOVELIST –  Charles Dickens was a NOVELIST –  insert S (Story’s opening) into an anagram (disorder) of VIOLENT.

28a         In the red, I typically needed something from my parents (8)
HEREDITY – The transmission of characteristics from one’s parents is hidden in tHE RED I TYpically.


2d           Not long ago, little foreign money in bank (8)
RECENTLY – An adverb meaning in the recent past, not  long ago –  Insert CENT (a hundredth part of a unit in quite a number of foreign currencies) into RELY (bank or depend on).

3d           Supplied everything lacking — praised in speech (12)
COMPLEMENTED –  One of those concentrate or else clues –  COMPLIMENTED (praised) when said sounds like COMPLEMENTED (added something missing), the latter being the word required here.

4d           Charge at home covering meaningful work, in short (6)
INDICT – To charge formally with a crime –  IN (at home) and DICT (the abbreviation for that book full of words and their meanings – the dictionary.

5d           Somewhat in extremis, I’m ready for another customer (4)
NEXT – Someone dealing with a queue of customers might shout NEXT.   This is hidden (somewhat ) iN EXTremis.

6d           About to get going, after start of crossword puzzle (8)
CONFOUND –  The definition here is puzzle –  a charade of C (start of Crossword)  ON (about) and FOUND (start, originate, establish).

7d           Look after where brain operations take place (4)
MIND –  A double definition – To look after or take care of something;  MIND also means the intellect or consciousness which is contained within the brain.

8d           Bridge pair that’s without king or queen — most odd (8)
WEIRDEST –  Most odd or peculiar –   the bridge positions W(est) and E(ast) followed by ID EST (the Latin for that is) with R inserted (without, or outside R ,  the Latin abbreviation for Rex or Regina, king or queen).

12d         Turned up again, highly respected around party (12)
REDISCOVERED –  Found again –  REVERED (highly respected) into which is inserted DISCO (party where music is played)

14d         For artist, reduce inflation? Doesn’t sound like it (5)
DEGAS – If the letters of  DE GAS, or reduce inflation were put together they would spell the surname of the famous French artist Edgar DEGAS, but as the clue indicates this would be pronounced completely differently.

16d         Champion crossing line and falling over (8)
TOPPLING – TOPPING (the action of someone who tops something and so would be champion) with L (line) inserted produces a part of a verb meaning overbalancing and falling headlong.

17d         Nitpicking editor opposed to having computer around (8)
PEDANTIC – In the manner of someone insisting on strict adherence to rules –  Take a PC (computer) and separate  the letters in order to insert ED (editor) and ANTI (opposed to).

19d         Folio catalogued as one of the last few remaining (8)
FINALIST –  One of a small number of people who reach the last stages of a competition – run together F (folio) and  IN A LIST (catalogued).

22d         Quarry of dachshund or hound (6)
BADGER – The dachshund was originally bred to hunt badgers,  the translation of its name means badger hound.   In addition to the quarry of the sausage dog, BADGER can also mean to hound, pester or worry.

24d         Negative response about very limited service (4)
NAVY –  The sea-based service –  NAY (an archaic term for no, a negative response) with V (a limited or abbreviated form of very).

25d         Judges having finished, her story follows (4)
RUTH –  If you know your books of the Old Testament, you will know that after the Book of Judges, comes the Book of RUTH.

It might have taken a little longer to solve this crossword than last week’s Sunday prize puzzle, but it was well worth it, the pleasure being doubled as I was the lucky person to enjoy it twice over to write the review.   I return to Saturdays next week, leaving Gnomey to get to grips with Virgilius once again.

3 comments on “ST 2602

  1. Hi Sue, thanks for very explicit review, particularly 22d,I didn’t know any of that about the dachshund! Hope you’ve had a good day sloshing around in your wellies (Gazzas comment earlier) :-)

  2. I should say again how much I enjoy these reviews, and not (just) because of kind comments. It’s a great way to see if my intended constructions are construed in the same way. And the pictures are delightful. Thanks for all the hard work.

  3. Life is too hectic. Just got round to this tonight. What a cracker! I can imagine RFS clueing 9a and 26a on a Monday with only the second half of these. Nearly every clue was a winner for me. Thanks Mr Greer & Mrs Sue.

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