ST 2604 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2604

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2604

A full review by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja! No, you’re not cracking up – it’s not Wednesday! I’m just standing in for gnomethang as he’s a bit short of time this week.
This is wonderful stuff from Virgilius as usual and with an added bonus, which everyone (including me) seems to have missed last Sunday, there’s a link connecting 4 of the down clues!

Loads of good clues here but the ones I like best are in blue. 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.

[Many thanks to pommers for filling in with an excellent review – I have been on serious work and Charity Golf Day graphics this last week! – gnomethang]


1a           Intimidates daughter and other relatives (6)
DAUNTS – D(aughter) and AUNTS (other relatives) gives this word for intimidates.

4a           Was tail outstanding on fish? (8)
SHADOWED – A verb meaning followed someone (was tail) is SHAD (a fish related to the herring family) followed by OWED (outstanding, as in an unpaid bill).

10a         Craft to moor at front of barge at sea (9)
MOTORBOAT – An anagram (at sea) of  TO MOOR AT with B (front of B(arge)) gives the type of craft.

11a         Man protecting little girl, in a manner of speaking (5)
IDIOM – The definition is ‘manner of speaking’.  It’s made up of IOM (abbreviation for Isle of Man) placed around (protecting) DI (short for Diana).  This clue is made a bit tricky by the clever concealment of the capitalisation of Man, by placing it as the first word of the clue. I spent ages trying to do something with HIM or a guy’s name – doh!

12a         They can make puzzles with fitting solutions (7)
JIGSAWS – I think this one classes as an all-in-one (&lit). The first wooden jigsaw puzzles were made by cutting out the pieces with one of these saws.

13a         Act of betraying leader of the cause (7)
TREASON – The act of betraying is a charade of T, leader of T(he), and REASON (cause).

14a         It accommodates follower of golf on radio (5)
HOTEL – This is the letter after G (Golf) in the NATO phonetic alphabet as used in radio communication. Of course, a hotel also provides accommodation.

15a         Retaliating against English, splitting ill-gotten gain (8)
AVENGING –  The definition here is retaliating. Take V (versus or against) and ENG(lish) and place inside (splitting) an anagram (ill-gotten) of GAIN.

18a         Kind of woman found in trap concealed by cruel man (8)
BRUNETTE – This word describes a kind of woman with brown hair.  Place NET (trap) inside (concealed by) BRUTE (cruel man).

20a         Small statue given zero mark after fight (5)
OSCAR – The Oscar statues are actually quite small, only 34cm including the base. It’s made up of O (zero) followed by SCAR (mark after fight).

23a         Pie ingredient to grill with family (7)
PUMPKIN – This is a popular pie ingredient in America. It’s a charade of PUMP (grill, as in question) and KIN (family).

25a         Restraint from old soldiers guarding king (3-4)
LEG IRON – This restraint is made up from LEGION (old soldiers – Roman perhaps) placed around (guarding) R (Rex – king) and then splitting the result (3,4).

26a         A university study for poet (5)
AUDEN – This is the Anglo-American poet W.H.Auden (1907-1973). It’s made from A (from the clue), U(niversity) and DEN (study).

27a         Petty detail in incomplete clue I point out (9)
PUNCTILIO – This is a slightly obscure word for a petty detail or fine point. It’s an anagram (out) of CLU (incomplete CLU(e)) and I POINT.

28a         German leader in city there suffering after overindulgence (8)
HANGOVER – G (German leader) in HANOVER (city there, i.e city in Germany) gives the suffering you get in the morning after a night of overindulgence in the vino collapso.

29a         China having plague ahead of time (3,3)
TEA SET – Take TEASE (plague or harass) and T(ime) and split the result (3,3).


1d           Drunk joined him, emptied large bottle (8)
DEMIJOHN – This sort of large bottle, which I used to use for fermenting a fairly revolting damson wine, is an anagram (drunk) of JOINED with HM (H(i)M emptied).

2d           Nervous, having been raised on high (7)
UPTIGHT – A charade of UP (raised) and TIGHT (high, as in drunk).

3d           Material for shelter saint and I found in lake (9)
TARPAULIN – This is made up from Saint PAUL and I placed inside (in) TARN (a small mountain lake).

5d           Goes crazy, as misbehaving fan does, perhaps (4,3,7)
HITS THE CEILING – This colloquial term for going crazy is also what a ceiling fan might do if it malfunctioned.

6d           Initial shot in organised campaign (5)
DRIVE – This is a double definition of the first shot played by a golfer and an organised campaign.

7d           Very little paper for part of church calendar (7)
WHITSUN – WHIT (very little) and SUN (the Newspaper) give this part of the church calendar.

8d           Spotted man in game starting with a couple of sixes (6)
DOMINO – A domino is a spotted ‘man’ in the sense of a game piece and the game of dominoes is started by playing the double six.

9d           Old city rebuilt on ancient plots (14)
CONSTANTINOPLE – The old name for the city of Istanbul is an anagram (rebuilt) of ON ANCIENT PLOTS. Very smooth surface reading on this one.

16d         Go-getter slightly confused about European dress material (9)
GEORGETTE – This is a type of crepe material used in dress making and it’s an anagram (slightly confused) of GO GETTER with E(uropean). According to Wiki it’s named after the French modiste Georgette de la Plante – one lives and learns!

17d         Make clear space for fighters in boxing contest (5,3)
BRING OUT – Make clear, in the sense of bring to light, is RING (the space where boxers or wrestlers fight) placed inside BOUT (boxing contest).

19d         Travelled at speed a loco is breaking in fast time (7)
RAMADAN – This is the time of year when Muslims have to fast during daylight hours (apparently they also have to refrain from smoking and sex!). It’s made up of RAN (travelled fast) with A (from the clue) and MAD inserted (breaking in). MAD = LOCO, in the sense of lunatic.

21d         Bands — they can be social or vicious (7)
CIRCLES – You can have both social circles and vicious circles.

22d         Cut over page in ostentatious publicity (6)
SPLASH – SLASH (cut) placed around (over) P(age) gives this ostentatious publicity, as in ‘making a splash’.

24d         Purpose in stunning finish for Japanese fighting (5)
KENDO – Kendo is a Japanese martial art and the word literally means ‘Way of the Sword’. It’s KO (knock out, a stunning end to boxing match) placed around END (purpose or aim).

If you can’t spot the link between the 4 down clues highlight the space between these curly brackets – {1d, 3d, 16d and 17d each contain the name of one of The Beatles}

5 comments on “ST 2604

  1. Hola pommers and thanks for the blog, my fav clue was the ‘vicious cirlce’ one and I was also one of those who miseed the fab four connection!

    1. Hi Mary
      I also liked the vicious circles but fav was 28a. Might have one of those tomorrow as I have visitors and we’ve been for a rather ‘liquid’ lunch and are out again tonight!
      Don’t think anyone noticed the ‘Fab Four’!

      1. Thanks for the review, Pommers! Nice boat, nice brunette!

        Some of us noticed the “Fab Four”, but only because Brian Greer aka Virgilius, gave us a little nudge:-

        “Nobody seems to have spotted the themette linking four down answers. I thought it was reasonably obvious. Obviously not!” (See ST2604 -hints)

        1. Yup, it was reading the comments before I wrote the review that pointed it out to me (oh, and an email from crypticsue)! Not sure what it was about as there’s nothing else in the puzzle to give a hint that it’s there. It would have worked better if one of the answers in the crossword was ‘Beatles’ or ‘FabFour’ etc.
          Actually I wasn’t all that keen on the boat – I’m a sail man!

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