ST 2615 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2615

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2616

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All! This week’s Sunday puzzle was in my opinion very straightforward – I can’t remember a faster solving time for a Virgilius puzzle. It still had all the fun in solving that we have come to expect though!.

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 pos


1a           Show embarrassment about one that’s somewhat indecent? (6)
BLUISH – To BLUSH (show embarrassment) around I for One gives a word for something that is near the knuckle or somewhat indecent.

4a           Man on board posted elsewhere (6)
ABSENT – Nicely deceiving, man on board diverting us to the chess board. In fact we want an AB (Able Bodied seaman) followed by SENT for posted to find an adjective meaning elsewhere, both physically and in one’s mind.

8a           Game I run badly, making a bloomer (8)
GERANIUM – An anagram (badly) of GAME I RUN is a flowering plant (bloomer). A nice easy starter clue.

10a         Treaty announcement in which leaders of America, China, and England, say, come together (6)
ACCORD – The definition is ‘Treaty’ signed between two or more parties. The cryptic wordplay is a bit tricky and caused a few chewed lips last Sunday. It is a homophone (indicated by ‘announcement’) of CHORD which is what happens when you add the musical notes A,C and E come together (the leading characters in America, China and England. (The notes form the major third of A).

11a         French product Berliner oddly selected (4)
BRIE – The French cheese (product) is found in the odd letters (oddly selected) of BeRlInEr.

12a         Leaving a report about scholar at home (10)
ABANDONING –Place DON (scholar) and IN (at home) inside A BANG (a report). This gives a word meaning ‘leaving’

13a         Conservative is supposed to, in more mature rebuff (4-8)
COLD SHOULDER – The rebuff or silent treatment is found by placing SHOULD (is supposed to) inside OLDER (more mature) all after C for Conservative.

16a         Put on trains, or older form of transport (12)
STAGECOACHES – A charade of STAGE (e.g. put on a play) and COACHES (train units) for an older horse-drawn form of transport.

20a         Vet before big match — it helps to select the best player (6,4)
SCREEN TEST – Another charade, this time of SCREENT (vet) and TEST (a big cricket match). This is used to select the best actor (player) for a movie cast

21a         Pressure to broadcast match (4)
PAIR – The P for Pressure goes (next) to AIR for broadcast to give a set of two things that are matched. A TO B for A next to B in wordplay is reasonably common but may be missed by some solver.

22a         Traveller using tracks across Arab country (6)
ROMANY – This ‘Charming Travelling Romany’ (as described by Viz magazine under threat of litigation after a rather amusing cartoon) is created by placing RY (railway) around OMAN – an Arab country.

23a         Take from capitalism any thing that’ll bring the fortune you want? (8)
TALISMAN – This lucky charm or ‘thing that’ll bring the fortune you want’ is hidden inside (taken from ) capiTALISM Any.

24a         Inferior rum used in sling (6)
SHODDY – ODD (rum) inside SHY (sling or throw) means inferior in quality.

25a         Bullying type in authority ran things (6)
TYRANT – Our second hidden word. The bullying type or despot is hidden inside (simply indicated by IN) authoriTY RAN Things.


1d           Better way, we hear, to produce vegetable (8)
BEETROOT – This purple salad vegetable, which stains everything it touches is the sum of two homophones (we hear) of BEET (beat, better) and ROOT (route, way).

2d           Form of employment wise person got after university (5)
USAGE – SAGE (wise person) after U(niversity) is a noun for the way in which things are used.

3d           Persuasively present a church as source of strength, supposedly (7)
SPINACH – The source of strength is the veg that helped out Popeye. To SPIN is to persuasively (and usually disingenuously) present a topic. Follow this with A and CH for Church.

5d           Didn’t have to go to school, and got on (7)
BOARDED – Someone who didn’t have to travel (go) to school must obviously have BOARDED. The also would not have BOARDED (GOT ON ) a bus.

6d           Unconventional type destroying entire 300? (9)
ECCENTRIC – A regular bit of devilry from Virgilius. 300 in Roman Numeral might be CCC )or at leat 3 lots of 100 will be). Make an anagram of this and ENTIRE to get a kook or unconventional person.

7d           You and I backed away from the wrong crowd (6)
THRONG – An unusual but completely clear instruction

9d           Certain people, in essence, showing what rulers can do (11)
MEASUREMENT – The definition is ‘what rulers can do’. Place SURE(certain) and MEN (people) inside MEAT (the essence or main part of a subject or problem).

14d         Reckless fellow’s absurd speed on bad road (9)
DESPERADO – An anagram (absurd)  of SPEED on an anagram (bad) of ROAD gives a reckless fellow or outlaw.

15d         Taking part in matches, I tantalizingly lost, so it’s said (8)

17d         Any done incorrectly could get cross (7)
ANNOYED – A straightforward anagram (incorrectly) of ANY DONE for a word meaning cross or tetchy.

18d         Money spent importing piano to excel in performance (7)
OUTPLAY – This means to beat at sport or excel in performance. Place P for Piano inside OUTLAY – money spent.

19d         Gold held by John’s successor for members of company (6)
ACTORS – The heraldic term for gold/yellow , OR, is held inside ACTS – the book of the Bible that follows the Gospel of John. This gives you members of a theatrical company.

Thanks to Virgilius yet again – I’ll see you next week for Saturday detail.