ST 2626 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2626

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2626

A full review by gnomethang

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All! This week saw a slightly gentler puzzle that was no less enjoyable and very well crafted as we have come to expect from Virgilius.

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           Person finding fault that could make brother lose out (14)
TROUBLESHOOTER – The person called in to an organization to make root and branch changes. The letters could make an anagram of BROTHER LOSE OUT.

9a           Elect one still incomplete, in relation to vision (7)
OPTICAL – OPT (pick/elect) then I and CALm (still or placid being incomplete). The definition is an adjective meaning ‘in relation to vision’

10a         Flier making one visibly angry before election (7)
REDPOLL – Lots of birds/fliers begin with RED (the easy bit – visibly angry). I waited for the checking letters before adding POLL (election). In any case –START/-CAP etc wouldn’t fit.

11a         Travel to latest part of India — that’s here (3)
GOA – A nice gentle starter. GO (travel) to (next to) the ending of indiA. The Bohemian travel resort in India.

12a         Imitative behaviour, over time, likely to provoke reaction (11)
STIMULATING – Place T for Time inside SIMULATING for ‘imitative behaviour’ to find an adjective meaning ‘likely to provoke reaction’ or ‘provoking.

14a         Empty tune by kind of jazz quartet (6)
TETRAD – A tetrad is any group of four (i.e. a quartet). Take the middle letters out of TunE and then add TRAD which is short for TRADitional Jazz music.

15a         Case of leaves making trains halt, ultimately (3,5)
TEA CHEST – The leaves in the case are Assam, darjeeling or somesuch. A charade of TEACHES (trains) and the ultimate letter in halT.

17a         Appeal endlessly in tests, creating precedents (8)
EXAMPLES – Place PLEa, endlessdly in EXAMS to get precedents or archetypes.

19a         Fall or almost fall, second from front (6)
TUMBLE – Remove the S (second ) from the front of STUMBLE (almost fall). Now you really did fall!.

22a         Corruptly mastermind a process for producing steel shares? (11)
DISARMAMENT – Now then!. After a few emails scratching heads I emailed Dave with a daft statement as I had effectively got the wordplay. The Biblical reference helps:
“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. — Isaiah 2:4”.
Given that your swords are made of steel and having been made into ploughshares you would have a steel share. Finally the anagram (corruptly) of MASTERMINDS is the wordplay.

23a         Dog — boxer, perhaps (3)
PUG – A double definition. The snub nosed dog and also a slang/archaic word for a boxer from the Latin PUGilist – after pugnare – to fight.

24a         Material like mustard put on Indian food (7)
NANKEEN – This common crosswordland cloth is formed from adding KEEN (as/like mustard) on to the NAN bread (Peshwari for preference please!)

26a         Is able to see you producing piece of music (7)
CANTATA – My favourite clue. A charade of CAN (is able to) and TA-TA (see you, bye) gives a piece of classical music.

27a         Kind of work that has no superior (4-10)
SELF EMPLOYMENT – A cryptic definition – you are your own boss so have no superior or manager.


1d           Not needing to offer a penny, however, doing business around East (7-7)
THOUGHT-READING – I’ll give you Big Dave’s hint for the day as I am not sure I understand the definition on this one! “Those who can do this have no need to offer to pay a penny for them! – a word meaning however is followed by a verb meaning doing business with E(ast) inserted”

2d           Dated shy person excluded from society (7)
OUTCAST – A charade of OUT (dated/not “in”) and CAST for throw is a social pariah.

3d           Congratulating striker, dominant runner going after defence (11)
BACKSLAPPER – Put LAPPER (the dominant runner round a racetrack) after BACKS (the defence collectively in e.g. a football game) to get someone who hits you round the shoulders in congratulations.

4d           Cake Charlie demolished with no end of relish (6)
ÉCLAIR – I like the definition in Chambers that Franco mentioned: “a cake, long in shape but short in duration with cream filling….”.
Make an anagram (demolish) C(h)ARLIE having removed the last letter (end) of relisH.

5d           Labour performer, male, dominates over Conservative (8)
HERCULES – A performer of Labours in classical mythology. HE (male) RULES (dominates) around (over) C for Conservative.

6d           Funny, unlike 1984 (3)
ODD – 1984 isn’t even as a number, nor is 2012 so the answer must be ODD (funny or rum).

7d           Raised heavy reading I have reduced, provoking strong feelings (7)
EMOTIVE – A reversal (raised) of TOME (heavy reading, a big book) and then add I’VE – a reduction of ‘I have’ gives an adjective meaning “provoking strong feelings”.

8d           Learner in RAF — he’s getting unusually low rank in it (6,8)
FLIGHT SERGEANT – An anagram of RAF HES GETTING (unusually) including L for Learner gives a low grade in the RAF. The clue is a semi all-in-one.

13d         Practice needed for balancing acts (11)
ACCOUNTANCY – The financial practice is needed to balance the books. Or not!

16d         Every year, a term of Latin (3,5)
PER ANNUM – A gentle cryptic definition and definition. The Latin for ‘every year’ is indicated by ‘a term’ i.e a phrase.

18d         Want something heart-warming? (7)
ABSENCE – That which makes the heart grow fonder (is heartwarming)

20d         Book that is including design for aircraft (7)
BIPLANE – Start with B for Book then add PLAN (design) inside I.E. for Id Est – That is. The result is an old aircraft

21d         Writer making change, cut one line (6)
PENCIL – A writer as in a writing instrument. Take the last letter (cut) from PENC(E), some change in coinage, and then add I and L(ine)

25d         Legendary creature following 27’s lead (3)
ELF – This a mythical short creature. You can find him in the three letters after the Sead letter in the answer to 27a.

Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle, I am back same time next week.


2 comments on “ST 2626

  1. Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle, and to gnomethang for the review.
    I wasted a fair amount of time on looking for a more complicated reason behind 6d!

  2. Thanks for the review – 10a, 14a and 8d were the ones I couldn’t get from this, so thanks for the explanations.
    I totally agree that 26a was the stand-out clue – big laughs from me as the penny dropped.
    Another hit puzzle from Virgilius! :)

Comments are closed.