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ST 2605

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2605

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Virgilius once again for a super start to Sunday – it didn’t take me long to solve and, apart from a  groan at 19a, I did enjoy the experience.  If there was a “themette” this time, I certainly didn’t spot it!

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 Accompany Conservative inside to use female charms (7)
BEWITCH – To get a verb meaning to fascinate or charm, insert C (Conservative) into BE WITH (accompany).

5a In university, splitting part of our capital (7)
POPULAR –  In is the definition in this clue, here meaning POPULAR, in favour or in fashion.    Insert U (university, splitting) into POPLAR, an area in the East End of our capital city, London.

9a Broadcast, for example, within backward part of Africa (7)
NIGERIA  – AIR (broadcast) EG (for example) and IN (within or in this case with IN!) are all reversed (backward) to get the West African country of NIGERIA.

10a Put right inside by stages (7)
PHRASED –    PHRASED meaning put or expressed:   PHASED (by stages) with R (right) inside.

11a Ghastly female? Correct (9)
FRIGHTFUL – A charade of F (female) and RIGHTFUL (correct) produces an adjective meaning ghastly or dreadful.

12a It’s just about learner showing aptitude (5)
FLAIR –  Insert L (learner) into FAIR in the sense of just to get a word meaning a natural aptitude.

13a Top US sportsman named for big game (5)
TIGER – A double definition – a big cat or the name of an American golfer given to him by his father after his Vietnamese friend also called TIGER.   Originally just a nickname, apparently the golfer legally changed his name to Tiger on his 21st Birthday.

15a Combination of shades of blue for a service (5,4)
ROYAL NAVY –  Two shades of blue – the bright, deep-coloured, ROYAL and the very dark NAVY, are combined  to get the naval warfare branch of the British armed services.

17a Again considered what editor should have done about it (9)
REVISITED – Considered something again –  About it  tells you to insert IT into REVISED , which is, of course, what an editor should have done.

19a Agreeing to join old man on board (5)
OKING –  I’m not a fan of this one but then when you have O*I*G  to fill, I suppose the options are fairly limited.    OKing or agreeing is a charade of O (old) and KING (a man or piece on a chess board).

22a Cape on top of jacket (5)
COVER –  One of the many definitions of jacket is COVER (as in book cover).  C (the abbreviation for Cape) and OVER (on top of).

23a Heavenly tea is brewed, served in small room (9)
CELESTIAL – An adjective meaning heavenly, divine or sublime.    An anagram (brewed) of TEA IS is then inserted or served in a CELL or small room.

25a Like novel in fashion, author popular with children (7)
TOLKIEN –  This author isn’t just popular with children but also with cryptic setters as he appeared in  the Cephas Saturday puzzle the day before.   Insert an anagram (novel) of LIKE into TON (fashion).

26a Confirmation of transaction firmly secured, having received order, initially (7)
INVOICE –   If something was IN [a] VICE it would be firmly secured.   Inserting O (the first letter of Order ‘initially’) into IN VICE will give you the document advising of the despatch of goods and the amount to be paid, or as the clue says ‘confirmation of transaction’.

27a Struck by glove, needing second, for a start (7)
SMITTEN –  Struck by or obsessively in love with:   For a start you need S (second)  which should be followed by a MITTEN (a glove with a thumb and an undivided section covering the fingers).

28a Fellow concealing eccentric plan for use of firearms (7)
GUNPLAY – The use of guns, especially in a fight or display of skill.   Insert (concealing) an anagram (eccentric) of PLAN into GUY (an informal term for a fellow).


1d Good suit squeezing opponents at bridge (7)
BENEFIT  – Good or an advantage – insert into BEFIT (suit), N and E (North and East are two of the opposing players in a game of bridge).

2d Reproach in air force unit about key US fighter (7)
WIGGING – A lovely old-fashioned informal term for a telling-off or reproach.   The air force unit is a WING (a group of several squadrons in the Royal Air Force).   The clue instructs you to insert  in WING, a reversal  (about) of  G (the musical key of G) and GI (General Infantryman or US fighter)

3d Light burden for one who’s 27 (5)
TORCH – A double definition –  a portable source of light or a metaphorical item carried by someone suffering unrequited love for another, or as 27a says, SMITTEN.

4d The way divers enter organised fish trade (4,5)
HEAD FIRST –  An anagram (organised) of FISH TRADE gives us the way most divers would go into the water.

5d Like religious leader twice every year going on line (5)
PAPAL – An adjective meaning of or relating to the religious leader, the Pope.   PA plus PA (per annum or every year, twice) followed by (going on) L (line).

6d Order top oil for artist’s work (9)
PORTFOLIO – A collection of an artist’s work is an anagram (order) of TOP OIL FOR.

7d Finishes off last call at famous European house (2,5)
LA SCALA –  The famous Italian opera house is obtained by removing the last letters (finishes off) of LASt CALl At  and rearranging them 2, 5.

8d Bloody Mary intoxicated foreign troops (3,4)
RED ARMY –  The national army of the former Soviet Union – RED (bloody) and ARMY (an intoxicated anagram of MARY).

14d Run over verse — it’s badly constructed, not regular (9)
RESERVIST –  A member of a reserve force rather than the regular army.   R (Run – on  cricket score sheet)  over or followed by an anagram (badly constructed) of VERSE ITS.

16d Ring daughter amidst shouting, making offpeak call (9)
YODELLING –   A form of shouting used by the Swiss to communicate from one mountain peak to another.   Insert O (ring) and D (daughter) into YELLING (shouting).

17d Speaks from memory in ceremonies, holding church up (7)
RECITES – Reads aloud from memory –  Insert (holding) a reversal (up) of CE (Church of England) into RITES  (ceremonies).

18d Maestro in Italy’s top league who scored every season (7)
VIVALDI  –  A cryptic definition – An Italian composer who could be said to be at the top of his ‘league’  is VIVALDI  who composed, amongst other works, the Four Seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, or as the clue says ‘scored every season’.

20d First to subscribe, writing letters (7)
INITIAL –  A double definition – INITIAL can mean (a) first (at the beginning);  (b) to subscribe or endorse something by writing the initial letter(s ) of one’s name at the bottom of all the pages of a document.

21d Site for hangings largely demolished (7)
GALLERY – Somewhere for hanging works of art is an anagram (demolished) of LARGELY.

23d Pronouncement of a gun law (5)
CANON –  The very clear homophone indicator  ‘Pronouncement’ at the start of this clue indicates that  something that sounds exactly like a cannon or great gun is a CANON  ie a law or rule, especially in ecclesiastical matters.

24d One’s opposite number on watch (5)
SEVEN  – My favourite clue this Sunday.   Just look at your watch and you will  see that SEVEN is diagonally opposite the number ONE.

Fun to solve and equally fun, if a little brain taxing,  to review – will I get a theme or a NINA to add to the high quality entertainment when I return next week?

2 comments on “ST 2605

  1. Yup, this was enjoyable – good to finally see the answers for 10a, 2d and 5d, those being the ones I couldn’t get. Dunno why I strugged with 5d in hindsight…I’d also never heard of ‘TON’ as meaning ‘FASHION’ (tho’ the answer was clear from the checking letters), so that’s a new one to add to the synonym bank!
    Great puzzle and a great review! :)

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