ST 2618 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2618

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2618

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Of all the people who commented on this puzzle on Sunday, I appear to have been the only one who found it straightforward to solve; everyone else struggled with the left-hand side, although we all seemed to agree that Virgilius provided us with the usual great Sunday entertainment.  My favourites are marked 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           Has potential to destroy, ultimately powerful  (8)
MIGHTY –   MIGHT (in the sense of could possibly, so ‘has potential’) followed by the last letter of destroY (ultimately) produces another way of saying powerful.

4a           Fights violently before work – go there for the present (8)
GIFTSHOP –  Somewhere to go and buy a Christmas, or indeed any other sort of,  present, is an anagram  (violently) of FIGHTS followed by (before) OP (work).

10a         Threatening to execute you and me over outrage (9)
DANGEROUS  –   Insert ANGER (outrage) into DO (execute) and US (you and me) to get an adjective meaning  threatening or unsafe.

11a         Left port with cargo on board (5)
LADEN  –  A charade of L (left) and the port of ADEN  makes an adjective meaning loaded with cargo, the on board being a reference to its original association with ships.

12a         Extremely banal ceremonies, time after time (7)
TRITEST –  Very  banal, worn out and hackneyed –  Follow  a T (after time) with RITES (ceremonies) and T (time).

13a         Bad feeling sounding even more offensive  (7)
RANCOUR  –   Spite, bad-feeling or enmity, ie  RANCOUR  sounds like RANKER (more offensively strong-smelling or tasting).

14a         Dance music with beat and energy (5)
TANGO  – An Argentine dance tune is derived from a simple charade of  TAN (beat) and GO (energy).

15a         A Petty Officer, say, who’s deserted? (8)
APOSTATE  –   Another charade – A (from the clue) PO (Petty Officer) and STATE (utter).  A deserter from any allegiance,  usually someone who has abandoned their religion or principles .

18a         Resort in which you could find British?  You bet!  (6)
BRIGHTON  –  The well-known South Coast resort is easily obtained from this nice wordplay.  B (British) plus RIGHT ON, which Chambers describes ‘as an [American] interjection expressing enthusiastic agreement or approval”.

20a         Unqualified, so to speak (5)
UTTER  –  A double definition –  an adjective meaning total, absolute, out-and-out, ie unqualified;  or a verb meaning to speak.

23a         One who reworks text, making advertisement more suitable (7)
ADAPTER  –  Someone who rewrites a piece of text, for example when writing the screenplay for a film of a novel might also, if split 2, 5,  be making an advertisement or AD, APTER or more suitable.

25a         Part of Canada – one close to Victoria, note  (7)
ALBERTA  –     One of the Canadian Provinces is derived from the person  who  was closest to Queen Victoria than anyone else, Prince ALBERT followed by the musical note A.

26a         Material from friend, ultimately getting nothing for a change (5)
CHINO  –  A strong cloth of twilled cotton –   The Cockney rhyming slang for friend  is CHINA – do as the clue instructs and replace the A at the end with an O (O [nothing]  for A).

27a         Spotted animal damaging a tail? Damn (9)
DALMATIAN  –   A spotty dog is an anagram (damaging) of A TAIL DAMN.

28a         Self-confident and organised in concert (8)
TOGETHER –   A triple definition – TOGETHER does indeed mean (a) self-confident  (b) organised and (c) in concert (agreement, harmony).

29a         He wasn’t great as a baker!  (6)
ALFRED   –   My favourite clue –  He might not have been able to look after cakes while they were being baked,  but ALFRED, King of Wessex, was known as the Great, amongst other things because of his resistance to Danish invaders.


1d           Thoroughly consider revision of text penned by partner  (8)
MEDITATE  –  The first two words of this clue match the Chambers definition  –  Insert EDIT (revision of text) into (penned by)  MATE (partner).

2d           Agent, in moving article, makes a bloomer (7)
GENTIAN –   A blue-flowered Alpine plant –  move the A (article) from the start of AGENT IN along  to fill the space in front of the second N.

3d           A number of TV series, perhaps, that could make me honest and good (5,4)
THEME SONG  –  Number ? – Roman? Anaesthetic?  – ah music!    Every TV series has its THEME  SONG – an anagram (could make) of  ME HONEST and G (good).

5d           Allowing coverage about horse is too great to overcome  (14)
INSURMOUNTABLE   –  An adjective meaning too great to get the better of or overcome  – insert MOUNT (horse) into INSURABLE (capable of being covered by insurance).

6d           Hawk’s part in brutal onslaught  (5)
TALON –   The hidden word clue is back!   Hidden in bruTAL ONslaught is a hooked claw found on the foot of a hawk .

7d           Mostly awful temperature for retreat  (7)
HIDEOUT   –  Take nearly all of HIDEOU(S) or awful, add T for temperature, and  you are left with a type of retreat or hiding place.

8d           Criticise attempt to make room for food (5)
PANTRY  –  Another simple charade to produce a small room or large walk-in cupboard where food is stored – PAN (criticise) and TRY attempt).

9d           Shorten  part for violin in something played by quartet  (8,6)
CONTRACT BRIDGE  –  A game of cards played by a quartet of  four players – CONTRACT (shorten) and BRIDGE (an upright piece of word supporting the strings of a violin).

16d         Sketch you don’t want to come under the hammer (9)
THUMBNAIL  –   You might not want your small drawing or sketch to go to auction (come under the hammer) but you certainly wouldn’t want that part of your body with the same name to be hit by a hammer!!

17d         Prepared to provide service, otherwise took food around area (8)
ORDAINED  –  Admitted to holy orders, after which time one could officiate at or provide church services –  OR (otherwise) DINED (took food) with A inserted (around Area).

19d         Some basic education in place of  university (7)
READING –  One of the three R’s which you would definitely need to have mastered before attending a university of the same name in Berkshire.

21d         Tenacious type’s blunder in bank (7)
TERRIER  –   A keen eager person – insert ERR (blunder, mistake) into TIER (bank, row or level).

22d         Something  lucky maiden found on course (6)
MASCOT –  A talisman or bringer of good luck – M (maiden) followed by (found on)  ASCOT  (race course).

24d         Strongly recommend catching river fish (5)
TROUT   – To get a fish often found in rivers take a verb meaning to advertise or recommend strongly TOUT and insert R for river .

Thanks to Virgilius once again for the usual excellently crafted Sunday puzzle.

2 comments on “ST 2618

  1. Sue I also found this one very straightforward, I never time how long it takes me but I’m sure this was the fastest time ever for a Virgilius puzzle. Thanks for the review and also Virgilius for the fun.

  2. I found this one a bit of a struggle, so many thanks to Sue for explaining the *counts* 6 clues that I couldn’t make sense of. :)

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