ST 2624 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2624

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2624

A full review by Crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Approaching this prize puzzle the morning  after my visit to London for the cruciverbalists’ convention/blog birthday party, I was very pleased to note that Virgilius had been kind this week (well I found him so anyway).   Another very enjoyable Sunday cryptic, my favourites being 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


1 Intelligence possessed by highbrow is dominant (6)
WISDOM –  Virgilius starts with one of his trademark hidden words –  a  synonym for intelligence or knowledge is hidden in  (possessed by)  highbroW  IS DOMinant.

4 Information on supermarket food is revealing about fish (8)
BARCODES – insert  COD (fish) into BARES (is revealing or uncovers) to get the coded information on the packets of supermarket food and other items.

10 What’s central to solicitor, in relation to law (5)
LICIT –  Another hidden word –   what’s central  indicates that an adjective meaning lawful is hidden in the middle of soLICITor. 

11 Kind of terrier, including very English dog (9)
RETRIEVER –  One that needed pause for thought.  It was obvious that dog was the definition but which dog and how to get to it.   An anagram (kind of) TERRIER into which is inserted (including) V (very) and E (English) makes a dog trained to fetch and find things, unlike a terrier of my acquaintance who is more likely just to run away with things!

12 Western thug hired to kill American poet (7)
WHITMAN – The American poet Walt Whitman is a simple charade of W (western) and HITMAN (thug hired to kill).

13 Land’s End pounded by nastier wind (7)
MEANDER –  What a lovely misleading word wind was!   Here it rhymes with kind and means to traverse by twisting and turning.   Insert D (the end of land) into MEANER (more nasty or despicable).

14 How Nelson managed after one battle without a mate (6-8)
SINGLE-HANDEDLY –  Nelson lost his right arm in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (apparently he was giving orders again some 30 minutes after the operation).   From that point on he would have done things with only one hand or literally SINGLE-HANDEDLY,   which is also metaphorically what someone doing something on their own (without a mate) would do.

17 Commonwealth leader will cover more amended line (6,8)
OLIVER CROMWELL –  For a short moment I wandered off into leaders of Commonwealth countries but it soon became clear that an anagram (amended) of WILL COVER MORE would give us the leader of the Commonwealth, the government by the people following the overthrow of Charles I.

21 Indian meals provided by female, packed in containers (7)
TIFFINS – A term originally used by the British Raj in India to describe a light meal such as lunch.   Insert (packed) into TINS (containers) IF (provided) and F (female).

23 Eager to annexe area within modern democracy (7)
HUNGARY –  Hungary became a republic in 1949 (so a [fairly] modern democracy) – Insert A (area) into HUNGRY (eager, desirous, longing for).

24 Hears about ancient drama of a kind (9)
TRAGEDIES – Dramas dealing with tragic events –  TRIES (hears or examines to find out the truth) with AGED (ancient) inserted (about).

25 Leader of church to create anew statement of belief (5)
CREDO –  C (the leader or first letter of church) followed by RE DO (create anew or make again) produces CREDO a belief or set of beliefs.

26 What’s handed down, as it’s included in a woman’s confidential information? (8)
HERITAGE –  Every woman tends to want to keep HER AGE confidential or secret.   Insert IT (it’s included)  and run the words together to get that which is handed down or inherited.

27 One way to move ball in footer — or its opposite (6)
HEADER –  Big Dave hinted that this was ‘a cryptic definition of a way of moving a football (legally) without kicking it’,  ‘footer’ being a colloquial term for football.   For me, the reference to footer and its opposite refers to the bane of my life ‘Headers and Footers’ in Word documents, especially those in documents created by other people that prove impossible to edit!.


1 Wife, in Irish author’s time, found in frontier region (4,4)
WILD WEST – The frontier region of North America –  WILDE[‘]S (belonging to the Irish author Oscar Wilde) followed by T (time) and then split 4,4.

2 Coastline spoiled in parts (9)
SECTIONAL – an anagram (spoiled) of COASTLINE produces an adjective meaning built up of parts or sections.

3 Best old friend embracing young Cratchit (7)
OPTIMAL – another adjective, this time meaning the very best –  O (old)  and PAL (friend) embracing TIM (young Tiny Tim Cratchit from Dicken’s  A Christmas Carol.

5 Athenian held by opponent of government, such as 17 (14)
ANTIMON ARCHIST –  Insert TIMON (the eponymous Athenian in Shakespeare’s play Timon of Athens) into ANARCHIST (an opponent of government of any kind)  to get a description of what Oliver Cromwell (17a) was – an ANTIMONARCHIST.

6 Firm, in time, is making some money (7)
COINAGE –   A word sum – CO (company, firm) IN (from the clue) and AGE (time) – pieces of metal used as money.

7 Painter, for example Hockney (5)
DAVID –  According to a Google search there are 92 painters called DAVID.   Pommers thought the clue might refer to David Painter, the award winning artist, or the French painter, Jacques-Louis David.   One thing is certain, whichever painter Virgilius is referring to , it will still give us the  Christian name of our Greatest Living Artist, Mr Hockney.

8 Wrongful arrest for philosopher and novelist (6)
SARTRE –  An anagram (wrongful) of ARREST gives us the surname of the French philosopher and existential novelist,  Jean SARTRE.

9 Something saucy added in haute couture, perhaps? (6,8)
FRENCH  DRESSING –  Haute couture – the French term for fashionable expensive dressmaking  which could be described as FRENCH DRESSING, although we normally use this to describe a salad ‘sauce’ or dressing using oil, vinegar and lemon juice.

15 Deception, for each person, is going to happen (4,5)
LIES AHEAD – Something that is still to happen  – LIES (deception) and A HEAD (per head or for each person)  split 4, 5.

16 Old golfer full of energy, who enjoys dramatic scenes? (4-4)
PLAY-GOER – Someone who habitually attends the theatre –  insert GO (energy) into PLAYER (the surname of the old golfer Gary Player), and then split 4-4.

18 Extremely proud natives becoming disorderly (7)
VAINEST –  Extremely or inordinately proud of one’s appearance – an anagram (becoming disorderly) of NATIVES.

19 Restraining device he used to contain prison rising (7)
MANACLE –  Another name for handcuffs –    NAC (rising indicates that a reversal of CAN (a slang term for prison) should be contained by or inserted into,  MALE (he).

20 Pain that’s produced by insertion of needle (6)
STITCH –  A sharp pricking pain in the side brought on by running is also the name of a complete movement of a needle in sewing or knitting.

22 Talent that can be very illuminating, we hear (5)
FLAIR –  A homophone to finish with –   FLAIR (talent, natural aptitude) sounds like a FLARE (a Very light is a type of signaling or illuminating coloured flare used at sea.

No parties next Saturday so I should be bright and fresh to both solve and review next Sunday’s puzzle!  (And having reread  Gnomey’s footnote at the end of last Sunday’s blog, he apparently still owes me 49 1/2 pints – so today being his birthday, perhaps I should go and find out where the party is!!)

1 comment on “ST 2624

  1. Hi Sue

    Good review of a good puzzle. Agree with your favourites and also liked 4a.

    Have you found out where the party is?

    Thanks for the review and thanks to Virgilius for a fine puzzle.

Comments are closed.