ST 2625 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2625

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2625

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

An unusual mix of clues this week from Virgilius – not one single anagram, and,  unless you count 1a (which is sort of hidden) none of the trademark hidden clues either.    This time more straightforward than tricky but as usual excellent  fun.   Favourite clues highlighted in blue.

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1 Call in cop, mostly revealing white material (6)
CALICO – A type of white cotton cloth is obtained by removing the final letters (mostly) of CALl In COp.

4 Good woman’s Welsh name (6)
GLADYS – A name which originated in Wales is a charade of G (good) and  LADY[‘]S (woman’s).

8 Rations for the fleet? (4,4)
FAST FOOD –  A cryptic definition of the sort of food someone swift might want to eat.   Fleet here doesn’t mean a number of ships but instead is used as an adjective meaning swift, nimble or FAST.   Follow this with FOOD (rations being an informal term for food).  

10 In the form that was posted? Okay (6)
ASSENT – Okay is a way of expressing agreement or ASSENT.   Split 2, 4 and it would then change to mean, as the clue indicates, in the way it was sent or posted.

11 Club, in first part of February, as it appears in table (4)
IRON – Great clue.   In the periodic table of elements, FE (the first part of February) is the symbol for IRON.   An iron, as Gnomey will tell you, is a type of golf club.

12 Note artist at home repeatedly showing loss of intellectual capacity (5,5)
BRAIN DRAIN – The continuing  loss of citizens of high intelligence and creativity through emigration is how Chambers defines this ‘loss of intellectual capacity’.    B (a musical note)  RA (artist, member of the Royal Academy of Arts) and IN (at home) followed by (repeatedly) D (another musical note) RA and IN.

13 Was the genius controlling teacher resented? (12)
MASTERMINDED –  Another way of saying ‘teacher resented’ is MASTER MINDED.   Merge the two words to get part of a verb meaning to conceive or direct a project.

16 Urge to cut back share? That’s an overstatement (12)
EXAGGERATION –  An extravagant overstatement –   A reversal of  both AXE (cut back) and  EGG (urge to)   followed by RATION or share.

20 Not yet decayed? It’s uncertain (10)
PRECARIOUS –  An adjective meaning uncertain  – PRE (before or not yet) and CARIOUS  (an adjective relating to decayed teeth).

21 Flower cut with wavy edge (4)
PINK – a double definition – a relative of the carnation or a verb meaning to decorate with a wavy or scalloped edge.

22 Cricket side at Oval smoothly added to score (6)
LEGATO –  A musical instruction to play smoothly – LEG (part of a cricket field) AT (from the clue) and O (oval).

23 Principal support given old woman during visit (8)
MAINSTAY –    A lovely charade of MA (old woman, mother) IN (during) and STAY (visit).

24 Meetings tax the patience of the best of people (6)
TRYSTS –  TRY (tax the patience of) and STS (an abbreviation for saints, the best of people) gives us TRYSTS, the sort of meetings that might well try the patience of saints!! 

25 Diamonds cut ahead of time, at great cost (6)
DEARLY –  D (the abbreviation for Diamonds in a game of whist) and EARLY (ahead of time)  –  Chambers definition matches the last three words of the clue.


1 President locks leader of movement in jail (8)
CHAIRMAN –  The President  of an assembly or meeting –   Insert into CAN (a slang term for jail) HAIR (locks) and M (the leader or first letter of Movement).

2 Left a container in situ, for example (5)
LATIN –  In situ is an example of a LATIN expression still used in daily life    – L (left) A (from the clue) and TIN (container).

3 Strike — one can barely do without it (7)
CLOBBER – A double definition –  a verb meaning to strike very hard or a slang term for clothing (without which one would definitely be bare!!).

5 Was inclined to accept monarch as well-educated (7)
LEARNED – Insert  R (accept monarch, R being the abbreviation for Rex or king) into LEANED (was inclined) to get an adjective meaning well-educated or knowledgeable.

6 Reject as false record, having soundly studied it (9)
DISCREDIT –  To refuse to believe in –   DISC (record) and REDIT (which sounds like read it or studied it).

7 Small, dark, and naturally bright (6)
SUNLIT –  Naturally bright being lit by the sun –  S (small) and UNLIT (dark).

9 Sketch popular and stable chap that is employed in entertaining guests (7,4)
DRAWING ROOM – A formal sitting room used to entertain guests – another charade – DRAW (sketch) IN (popular, fashionable) and GROOM (a man who works in a stable).

14 Form of government in which ministers are all-powerful? (9)
THEOCRACY  –  A cryptic definition of a state in which God or a god is the sole sovereign and the priesthood, or ministers, are the all-powerful officers of the invisible ruler.

15 It divides two countries, or four, or six (8)
BOUNDARY – D’oh moment of the day.  A border between two countries or  cricket scores – a four being scored when the ball bounces before touching or going over the edge of the field; a six being scored when the ball passes over the boundary in the air, without touching the playing area at all.

17 Piece of music left in plane where it lands (7)
AIRPORT  –   An aeroplane lands at an AIRPORT –  an AIR is a musical melody or tune; PORT is the left side of anything, originally used to refer to ships but here to a plane.

18 Remainder when divided by five, namely? It’s not settled (7)
RESTIVE –  Uneasy or unsettled   –  REST (remainder)   and IE (that is, namely) divided by (or inserted by)  V (the Roman numeral for five).

19 Churchman impertinently questions Tory leader (6)
PRIESTS  –  Ordained members of the Church – PRIES  (questions in an impertinently curious way) followed by T (the leader or first letter of Tory).

21 Hard question or subject for artist (5)
POSER – A double definition to end with – a difficult question or someone who sits for an artist.

All change on the weekend blogging rota – Gnomethang will be taking his turn at sorting out the Virgilius wordplay while I have a go at the Saturday puzzles for the next two weeks.

1 comment on “ST 2625

  1. Usual fare from Virgilus, very enjoyable yet untaxing enough to satisfy the weekend effects of the water of life. Thanks to Virgilus and to Crypticsue for the masterly summing up.

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