Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2619
A full review by Gnomethang
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BD Rating – Difficulty **– Enjoyment ***
Morning All!. We had a very nice festive puzzle from Virgilius which was one of the first to get us into the Christmas mood. I don’t think that there was anything too tricky on the day but would be interested in any elucidation on 1a, and if there is any more in the clue than myself and BD can see.
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1a Substitutes put in for first or second leg at Christmas? (8,7)
STOCKING FILLERS – The substitutes are the fillers and they will go into either of the stocking legs. Our first seasonal clue.
9a Careless, having drunk gin — gentle! (9)
NEGLIGENT – A drunken anagram of GIN GENTLE also means careless or remiss.
10a Courts in which a case is incomplete (5)
ATRIA – These courts are actually courtyards. Take all but the last letter (almost complete) of A TRIA(L)
11a In quartet of players, one unknown is tough and strong (6)
SINEWY – Tough and strong as someone with wiry muscles. We need to add I for one inside S, N< E & W – the four layers in the game of Bridge, then add Y – an unknown variable in mathematics.
12a Joiner, initially, somehow hopes to become a venerated carpenter (6)
JOSEPH – The initial letter of J(oiner) and an anagram (somehow) of HOPES gives us our second seasonal answer.
15a Somewhat unpleasant, a claustrophobia he gets in chimney (5,5)
SANTA CLAUS – Another seasonal clue and another trademark hidden word from Virgilius. The Bearded Benefactor is hidden in (somewhat) unpleaSANT A CLUStrophobia and is defined by ‘he gets in chimney.
17a Overhead lighting in hall, on endlessly (4)
HALO – The light that shines over the head of saints and other holy people can be found by removing the last letters (endlessly) in HAL(L) and O(N). More Yuletide cluing!.
19a Teacher giving us religious uplift, primarily (4)
GURU – The first letters (primarily) of Giving Us Religious Uplift is also a spiritual teacher in Hinduism.
20a Triumphs this month he had, in practice (4,3,3)
WINS THE DAY – Triumphs in a battle or contest. The practice is simply the WAY. Into this you need to add INST (Short for Instant – in the present month) and HE’D (a contraction of HE HAD).
22a Persistently tackle weeds, we hear? So says 15 across (2,2,2)
HO HO HO – More seasonality. It helps if you have solved 15 Across as this is one of his catchphrases!. If not it is still quite straightforward – A repeated homophone oh ‘hoe’ – persistently tackle weeds, we hear.
23a A vehicle in street, good example for learner to follow (6)
SAVANT – A sage or learned person. Place A VAN (vehicle) inside ST for street.
28a Singers and band in rich arrangement (5)
*CHOIR – I’ll indicate the remainder of the seasonal clues with an asterisk!. Place an O (band, circle or ring) inside an anagram (an arrangement) of RICH
29a Part of army in base not demanding attention (9)
IGNORABLE – something that does not require one’s attention can be so described. Put RA (Royal Artillery – part of the Army) inside IGNOBLE, base.
30a Combination of 15 down, 19, and 23, perhaps, who followed 8 (3,5,4,3)
*THREE WISE MEN – The answers to the first three clues identified, SAGE, GURU and SAVANT, are collectively the answer to the group who followed the STAR at 8d.
1d Some children including good carols, for instance (5)
SONGS – Add G (Good) inside SONS (some children) to get ditties of which CAROLS are an example.
2d Newspaper, say, that often is stopped (5)
ORGAN – A newspaper is an example, indicated by say, of a publication or organ. A musical organ, particularly large church organs have different pipes or voices that can be opened and closed by the use of a STOP. Hence the phrase ‘pulling out all the stops’ meaning ‘going hell for leather’.
3d Warm clothing king’s taken to a winter resort (8)
KNITWEAR – Place K(ing) next to an anagram (resort) of A WINTER to get the warm winter clothing.
4d Christmas verse taken from A Christmas Carol, say (4)
*NOEL – I’ll give you BD’s hint on the day as I can’t make things any clearer:
Another name for Christmas is derived by dropping V(erse) from a type of book of which A Christmas Carol is an example (say)
5d Liable to explode, but it’s for awfully short time (3,2,5)
FIT TO BURST – An Awful anagram of BUT ITS FOR followed by T – a short Time – leads to a phrase meaning liable to explode.
6d Organised repeal, like member of Lords group in period after Christmas (6)
*LEAPER – An anagram (organized) of REPEAL can describe any of the 10 Lords delivered on the 10th Day of Christmas. If this wasn’t a themed puzzle then this might have been a lot more difficult.
7d Dreadful hatred, including conflict, coming to the world (9)
EARTHWARD – coming down towards the world is the definition. Include WAR inside an anagram (dreadful) of HATRED.
8d Top performer, leading light at Christmas (4)
*STAR – The leading light both festively and on the stage!
13d A lot of dexterity needed on unusually dire journey over snow (6,4)
*SLEIGH RIDE – Most of SLEIGH(T), dexterity as in sleight of hand, on top of an anagram (unusually) of DIRE gives us an icy journey by carriage.
14d Like angels one left out of Christmas decoration (4)
*HOLY – Take one of the L(eft)s out of HOLLY – the Christmas decoration to leave an adjective describing angels and such like.
15d Sensible thing to stuff into turkey (4)
*SAGE – Two definitions. Sensible or wise. Goes well in the stuffing!.
16d HQ for 15 across providing quarterstaff? (5,4)
*NORTH POLE – Santa’s evil lair and can be found by splitting the last word to give NORTH (quarter) and POLE (Staff).
18d Where casualties may be treated in areas of fighting (8)
THEATRES – A definition (where casualties may be treated) and a cryptic definition – theatres of war.
21d Check before and after you are heard in place of worship (6)
*CHURCH – The abbreviation of Check – CH – placed before and after a homophone (heard) of U R (you are). The result is a place of worship.
24d A Labour leader with bad record (5)
ALBUM – A Long Playing record (Album). A charade of A, L(abour leader) and BUM used as an adjective for bad (as in a bum deal).
25d Connection with typical gift for man at home (3-2)
*TIE-IN – A charade of TIE (a typical gift for a man) and IN, at home. This is a connection between e.g. a child’s toy and a film.
26d Starts off solving crossword on the Mac (4)
SCOT – The starting letters of (Solving Crossword On The) gives us a man from North of the English border. Off here I read as FROM or OFF OF.
27d Second present many would like for Christmas (4)
*SNOW – A nice simple clue to finish. S for second and NOW for ‘present’ gives what night have been a nice thing to play in on Christmas morning.
Thanks to Virgilius for the festive fun. I’ll see you next week after I have checked the closing dates for the puzzles!