ST 2609 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2609

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2609

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Another splendid start to Sunday from Virgilius – I had a bit of a mental block with 12a but once I had worked it out, thought it should join my list of favourite clues, all highlighted  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.


1a           Put a damper on party craze around university (10)
DISCOURAGE  –  If you put a damper on something you dishearten or DISCOURAGE.  A charade of  DISCO (party) U (around university) and RAGE (craze, vogue or fashion).

6a           Hands over in exchange (4)
SWAP –  A classic reversal – over indicates that if you reverse PAWS (hands) you get a verb meaning to give in exchange.

9a           Reject even pieces of perfect finish as fake (7)
PRETEND –  To fake or make believe something is real –  the odd letters of PeRfEcT (reject [the] even [letters]) followed by END (finish).

10a         Giving off some heat in angry words about support in retreat (7)
RADIANT  – Emitting heat –   RANT (an angry tirade) is put about  a reversal (in retreat)  of AID (support)

12a         They help locate data doctor has, e.g., in screen (6.7)
SEARCH ENGINES –   An anagram (doctor) of HAS EG IN SCREEN – where would we be without these websites that help us locate data?

14a         Player not on side making some indecent remark (6)
CENTRE  –  A player who mainly runs up and down the middle of a pitch is hidden inside some indeCENT REmark.

15a         Newspaper articles about British lie getting heated, naturally (8)
SUNBATHE –  I stared at this one for what seemed like ages before the penny dropped!    If you lie in the sun,  you would naturally warm up as part of the tanning/burning process.   A charade of SUN (the red-topped tabloid newspaper) A and THE (articles) with B(ritish) inserted.

17a         Couple found in stormy Med taken on board (8)
EMBRACED  –  Taken on board or included.   An anagram (stormy) of MED with BRACE (couple) inserted.

19a         Variety of alpine, one at home in mountains (6)
NEPALI  –    An anagram (variety) of ALPINE produces  someone from the mountainous country of  Nepal.

22a         Hit by wave, one labours on regardless (13)
STRIKEBREAKER –  A person who works on during a strike, or does the work of a striker, especially if brought in with a view to breaking the strike.   STRIKE (hit) and BREAKER (a wave broken on rocks or the shore).

24a         Drink for one who’s ill with complaint, with meal to follow (4, 3)
BEEF TEA – A hot drink made from beef stock which used to be given to people with a  complaint or illness.   BEEF (an informal term for complaint in the alternative sense of expressing a grievance) and TEA (the meal taken in the afternoon).

25a         More imposing regal father and daughter (7)
GRANDER  –  On a more imposing or magnificent scale.     Regal indicates that we aren’t just looking for any old father and daughter but a royal couple –   GR (the cipher of George VI)  AND ER (the cipher of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II).

26a         University that might be picked by expert (4)
YALE  –  A lovely double definition – the American university or a type of lock that might be picked by an expert locksmith (or burglar!).

17a         Bitterness from soldiers dispatched again ahead of time (10)
RESENTMENT  –  Bitterness or ill-will –   RESENT (dispatched again) MEN (soldiers) and T (time).


1d           Fool’s intelligence (4)
DOPE –  Another double definition – an informal term for a fool or another for general information.

2d           Puts foot down over partner’s issue (7)
STEPSON –   The son of one’s partner from a previous relationship would be your STEPSON, which if split 5, 2 would,  of course, mean puts [one’s] foot  down [on something]

3d           No place for insider trading? (4-3, 6)
OPEN-AIR MARKET –  A  cryptic definition of somewhere people trade goods outside.

5d           Splendid stuff, contents of house (8)
GORGEOUS  –  An adjective meaning splendid or magnificent –  GORGE (stuff in the sense of feed gluttonously) and OUS (the middle letters or contents of hOUSe).

7d           Piece of furniture that now has ends replaced (7)
WHATNOT – A light piece of furniture with shelves for displaying bric-a-brac.   Ends replaced indicates that you should simply swap the first letter of THAT with the last letter of  NOW.

8d           Its pies are demolished (10)
PATISSERIE  –  A lovely &Lit –   an anagram (demolished) of ITS PIES ARE produces the type of establishment where delicious pies are demolished or eaten up greedily.

11d         Mess is something setter might make a meal of (4, 9)
DOGS BREAKFAST –  An informal term for something untidy or badly done –  here setter doesn’t refer to Virgilius but to a type of dog which might make such a mess while eating his first meal of the day!

13d         How urgently needed equipment should be stored, as bicycles must be fixed (10)
ACCESSIBLY –  Equipment needed urgently should be stored ACCESSIBLY – it’s an anagram (must be fixed) of AS BICYCLES.

16d         British, in disorderly era, give overlong sentences (8)
VERBIAGE  –  A noun meaning a superfluity of words –  Insert B(ritish) into an anagram (disorderly) of ERA GIVE.

18d         Fish with line, rod and weights (7)
BARBELL –  A freshwater fish of the carp family – a BARBEL followed by L for line –  a BARBELL is a type of weightlifting equipment where  heavy weights are attached either side of a rod.

20d         Cut in a game of cards (7)
ABRIDGE  –  A BRIDGE (bridge is a game of cards)  without the space between the two words is a verb meaning to cut or shorten.

21d         Black bird of prey hunting dog (6)
BEAGLE –  A type of hunting dog is a charade of B (black) and EAGLE (bird of prey).

23d         Don’t run very fast for a left winger (4)
TROT –  Another double definition:  a pace between walking and running  or an informal term for a left winger who is  a follower of the form of Communism associated with Leon Trotsky.

Yet another splendid crossword from the Sunday Maestro.   Still waiting for my turn for a theme – perhaps that will be next week when I have the pleasure of reviewing another treat from Virglius.

1 comment on “ST 2609

  1. Slowly I am getting onto Virgilius wavelenghts, having been beaten for ages by this setter my Sundays have become more pleasurable. Favourites also for me were 12a and 18d. Thanks to Setter and CS

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