ST 2608 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2608

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2608

A full review by Gnomethang

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

The usual Virgilius excellence again this Sunday. The standout clue for me was the &Lit at 8d.

I got the fright of my life when I thought that I had copied the wrong review to my USB stick but luckily I had emailed it to myself instead. Crypticsue was frantically typing out a review as of 11:20 – Thanks but I managed to get this one out in time!.

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           For example, part of King Lear that’s liable to be censored (4-6,4)
FOUR-LETTER WORD – Big Dave’s hint suggested that KING and LEAR are both examples of 4 letter words (The definition being those things that may be censored). I am still not convinced as there is an awful lot of padding here including ‘part of’ and ‘that’s’. Am I missing something?

9a           Produces report and leaves (4,3)
GOES OFF – A double definition. A gun goes off (and produces a bang which is known as a report) and the second is simply leaves a location.

10a         Spanish painter and English composer ignoring a writer from Italy (2,5)
EL GRECO – The Spanish painter is the definition. Start with ELGAR (An English composer) and remove (ignore) the A. Then add ECO (Umberto Eco an Italian writer – Author of The Name of the Rose).

11a         Article mother and father share with brothers (3)
THE – THE definite article is found in moTHEr, faTHEr, and brothers. Virgilius used this idea (but with different family members) to get the EN out of men, women and children. Meself and Pommers noticed – how about you lot?

12a         Advertising, originally, position for person in charge (7,4)
DRIVING SEAT – A well observed anagram (originally) of ADVERTISING is a synonym for the place where a the person in charge sits in a car.

14a         Limited number disposed of, i.e. consumed (6)
NOSHED – A charade of NO (limited or abbreviation of number) and SHED for disposed of or sloughed. The definition (i.e. – that is) eaten.

15a         Kind of chair that woman appropriately used outside (8)
SHERATON – A style of chair synonymous with Thomas Sheraton. Place HER (that woman) inside SAT ON – the action, appropriately, that that woman might have taken upon the answer!. Neatly done once again!.

17a         Nice sweets containing first of ripe fruit (8)
CHERRIES – Nice is placed at the start of the clue to hide the capitalization – the word is an an adjective meaning ‘from Nice’ i.e. French. So, in a Pepe-le-Peu moment, one’s sweets are one’s CHERIES (remember that we are French so we have more than one sweetheart!). Include (contain) the first letter of Ripe to get the plural of the fruits that we love from round my way in Kent.

19a         Play bad shot or fail to respond as player, say (6)
MISCUE – Another Cryptic definition plus definition. The first is the definition, playing a bad shot in snooker. The second means missing a cue or prompt as an actor (player) on the stage.

22a         Assembly process in garage got modified (11)
AGGREGATION – An assembly process is an adding together or AGGREGATION. It is also an aagram (modified) of IN GARAGE GOT.

23a         At last moment, defeat leaders of party in power (3)
PIP – A short answer but so smooth that it takes a while to figure out. The leading letters of Party In Power also mean ‘to defeat at the last moment’ or PIP at the Post.

24a         Bad clue about piece of music rejected? It’s not beyond remedy (7)
CURABLE – An ailment that is not beyond remedy/successfully treatable). The reverse of BAR (a piece of music rejected) inside an anagram (bad) of CLUE.

26a         Person making joke better with small addition (7)
PUNSTER – Add S (the abbreviation for small) inside PUNTER (one who bets) to get a wag or quipper (person making a joke)

27a         Leave old boys before match, as college’s organised, perhaps (14)
DEPARTMENTALLY – A very well disguised charade of DEPART (leave), MEN (boys who have grown old!!) and TALLY (match) for a way in which a college or university might be organized, i.e. by departments.


1d           Changing chef — it possibly provides opportunity for striver (8,6)
FIGHTING CHANCE – I missed the anagram at first and solved via the checking letters and definition. A possible anagram of CHANGING CHEF IT makes an opportunity for someone who really wants to win and is prepared to work hard.

2d           Futile economic policy (7)
USELESS – A definition and Cryptic definition. Futile means useless and a good economic policy (in these straitened times!) might be to USE LESS.

3d           Dolly upset saintly patron, an acquaintance of my father? (5,6)
LLOYD GEORGE – I’ll borrow Big Dave’s hint from the day: An anagram (upset) of DOLLY and the patron saint of England gives a former Prime Minister that knew my father, in the well-known ditty.

4d           Pet at home getting light meal (6)
TIFFIN – A pet can also be a TIFF or small altercation amongst intimates. Add IN (at home) for a light meal beloved of Sid James in ‘Carry On Up the Khyber’.

5d           Crew welcoming positive response, in a sense (8)

6d           Show appreciation, as setter, for wit (3)
WAG – The punster from 26a is also what the setter DOG might do with its tail in order to show abbreviation.

7d           Put back in seat for part of free lecture (2-5)
RE-ELECT – The seat is a seat in the Houses of Parliament, for example. The verb is hidden in (part of) the last two words.

8d           Protest on bay at being mistreated? (6,3,5)
BOSTON TEA PARTY – My clue of the day and possibly the week. An anagram , indicated by ‘being mistreated’ of PROTEST ON BAY AT gives a demonstration in Boston, Massachusetts against the taxation of commodities in the US by the British government. Note that the entire sentence comprises all of the wordplay and also the definition which makes this an All in One or &Lit clue. Top notch!

13d         Puzzle impossible to disentangle? You can hack it! (7,4)
GORDIAN KNOT – A difficult, tangled problem which Alexander the Great allegedly solved by cutting through it with his sword, hence “You can hack it!”

16d         Having inserted advertisement, becoming morally weak (8)
DECADENT – The definition is morally weak. Place AD (an abbreviation for Advertisement) inside DECENT, becoming or fine.

18d         Get ready to fence in kitchen garden (2,5)
EN GARDE – A nice easy starter of a hidden word. The call to defend oneself in swordplay is hidden in kitchEN GARDEn.

20d         Start of sentence, or more drastic kind of punishment (7)
CAPITAL – Every sentence starts with a capital letter. Capital punishment is also a more drastic punishment than a mere prison sentence.

21d         Spot someone in house dividing a lot of money (6)
PIMPLE – Another very nice clue. Put MP (someone in the Houses of Parliament) inside PILE – a whiole lot of money. The result is a spot or zit.

25d         Raised final item on agenda? That’s dangerous for people in Amazon (3)
BOA – A reversal of the abbreviation for Any Other Business (the last item on a meeting agenda apart from repairing to the pub) is also a dangerous constricting snake in the Amazon.

Thanks once again to Virgilius for what was, for me, the puzzle of the week again. I’m back on Saturdays for the next couple of weeks.

6 comments on “ST 2608

  1. Has anybody out there got today’s Telegraph Crossword puzzle they could send me? Fed up and only hope the Telegraph is going to extend my subscription when it comes to an end!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mitzi

  2. I saved this one (thanks again BD) for a rather long red-eye flight back to the UK on Wednesday night. Sadly, like an idiot, I left all of my deliberately unsolved Telegraph newspaper crosswords from the previous week behind in the hotel…so annoyed with myself when I realised my absent-minded mistake! Still worse was that the airline (who do usually carry the Telegraph) hadn’t bothered to pick any up on the outbound from London – only those ghastly US crosswords on the newspaper trolley. I nearly cried! :(

    As usual, a superb offering from Virgillius. Managed all apart from 19a, 26a and 13d, so thanks for explaining those Gnomethang. I was quite pleased that I knew the Spanish painter, as I’m usually rather rubbish at painter/composer/philosopher/author types clues. :)
    I agree that 18d was the standout favourite for me too!

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