Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2620
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment *****
It seems a long time ago now, but this treat of a themed puzzle was a splendid start to the New Year. This is the first time I have awarded the coveted 5* enjoyment rating to any crossword that I have reviewed but I had so much fun both solving and now reviewing it, that I couldn’t possibly rate it any differently.
It is impossible to pick one or two special favourites from all the good clues. I have, however, put asterisks by the themed clues and highlighted the ‘ months ’ contained in the solutions.
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.
*1 Dated way of arranging a dozen beginnings for today’s solution (6,4)
JUL IAN YEAR – According to the Calendar instituted by Julius Caesar in 46BC, a Julian Year has 365¼ days divided (or arranged) into twelve months – this clue and eleven others contain the first three (and in one case four) letters (beginnings) of the names of those months.
*6 Article in French I penned, the epitome of plainness (4)
JAN E – A derogatory informal term for a dowdy girl - Insert AN (article) into JE (the French word for I).
*9 Religious probationers — and what they should have? (7)
NOV ICES – The term for members of a religious house who have not yet taken their vows, if split 2, 5 would describe the requirement that they should be pure and have NO VICES.
10 Unlikely to be removed from office, having settled rent due (7)
TENURED - Holding a university appointment for a specified length of time: TENURED is an anagram (settled) of RENT DUE.
12 Passenger can choose train fare here (10,3)
RESTAURANT CAR – No, not the ticket office, but a cryptic definition of the carriage on a train where food and train can be purchased.
14 Major route for vessel carrying vital supply (6)
ARTERY – A double definition – a main channel of communication or movement, such as a traffic system or one of the major blood vessels of the body.
*15 Reasonable about move away from position in middle (8)
DEC ENTRE – In order to fit December into this crossword, a charade of DECENT (reasonable) and RE (about) is required.
17 Novelist and poet disturbed about revolutionary act (8)
TROLLOPE - The author of the Barsetshire novels is obtained by inserting into an anagram (disturbed) of POET , a revolutionary act or ROLL.
19 Doctor carried by our enemy once in warplane (6)
BOMBER - The type of warplane that drops bombs is obtained by inserting (carried by) MB ( B achelor of M edicine) into one of our older enemies, the BOER.
22 A university, though cut, helping, having secured one’s official permission (13)
AUTHORISATION - A noun meaning official permission is derived from A (from the clue) U (university) THO ( tho [ugh] cut) and RATION (helping) with IS (secured I’s) inserted.
*24 Finally including me in relative increase (7)
AUG MENT - The abbreviation for August is found at the beginning of a verb meaning to increase - Insert G (the last or final letter of including) and ME into AUNT (relative).
*25 Overheated religious leader at centre of unorthodox belief (7)
FEB RILE – Overheated in the sense of having a fever - An anagram (unorthodox) of BELIEF with R ( leader or first letter of r eligious) placed in the middle.
26 Explosive placed around European part of camp (4)
TENT - The most basic requirement for camping - Insert E ( E uropean) into TNT (the explosive t ri n i t ro t oluene).
27 Measurement system giving ancient city importance (4,6)
TROY WEIGHT - A system mainly used for weighing precious metals and gems – follow the ancient city of TROY with WEIGHT (importance or influence).
*1 Abandon ship (4)
JUN K - A double definition – An informal term meaning to abandon or discard as useless; an Asian flat-bottomed sailing vessel.
2 Young animal invariably protected by permit (7)
LEVERET - A young hare - insert EVER (invariably) into LET (permit, allow).
3 Manor he combined with castle, possibly, as this? (9,4)
ANCESTRAL HOME – the sort of people who might normally refer to their ANCESTRAL HOME might well have once lived in a MANOR or CASTLE. Possibly indicates that an anagram of MANOR HE and CASTLE will together (combined) produce the solution.
4 His support is guaranteed, yet so many appearing incomplete (3-3)
YES-MAN – An obedient follower with no initiative is to be found by removing the last letter of YE t S o MAN y and then splitting the result 3-3.
5 Lawyer watching non-U medieval sport (8)
ATTORNEY – Someone watching a medieval tournament might be said to be AT A TO U RNEY. Remove the U (non-U) and merge the words to get a lawyer authorized to act on behalf of others.
*7 One fruit mostly loaded inside a container … (7)
APR ICOT - Insert RIC(H) ( mostly loaded where loaded means having lots of money) into A (from the clue) and COT (container).
8 … and another leader put in ground, we hear (10)
ELDERBERRY - Another type of fruit – follow ELDER (officer or leader of a church congregation) with BERRY. The latter of course sounds like BURY or put in ground, w e hear being the homophone indicator.
11 Enabling one to put differently what’s not open to change (3-10)
NON-NEGOTIABLE - Not open to negotiation or unable to be changed. An anagram (put differently) of ENABLING ONE TO.
*13 Skilled defence, to spoil a trial badly ahead of time (7,3)
MAR TIAL ART - MAR (spoil) followed by an anagram (badly) of A TRIAL and finished off with T for t ime.
16 Second bookmaker’s speedy runner (8)
SPRINTER - Someone who runs really fast – S ( s econd) plus PRINTER (someone employed in printing books).
*18 Figure of many sides clubs in part of New Zealand name (7)
OCT AGON - Insert C (clubs) into OTAGO (a region on the South Island of New Zealand) and follow this with N (name). This plane figure has eight sides.
20 Republicans do this financial activity (7)
BANKING - Republications are in favour of government without a monarch and so would want to BAN [a] KING. Remove the space between the words to get the business or service of a bank, ie a financial activity.
*21 Insect isn’t grounded (6)
MAY FLY - A short-lived insect which appears in May split 3, 3 would infer that it hadn’t been prevented from taking off and so MAY FLY.
*23 Irish family group in circle around piano (4)
SEPT – A term for a division of a family or clan which originated in Ireland. SET (circle, exclusive group) into which is inserted (around) P (the musical abbreviation for p iano , soft or softly).
We always know we are going to get a good Sunday crossword from Virgilius so it only remains for me to thank him once again and look forward to the next one.