Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2628
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
A particularly benevolent Virgilius this week – I edged into 3* difficulty time while justifying my answer for 24d – but with the usual enjoyment factor. My top favourites were `11a and 15a.
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1a Saw dog being restrained by lead (7)
PROVERB – A saw or saying – insert ROVER (dog – how many people actually call their dog Rover?!) into the chemical symbol for lead: PB.
5a Prepared in case cheese gets supplied (7)
BRIEFED – Instructed or retained a barrister in a case of law – BRIE (the lovely French cheese I can’t eat any more) and FED (gets supplied).
9a Enduring ability — in a man, it’s exceptional (7)
STAMINA – Enduring ability or staying power , an anagram (exceptional) of ITS A MAN A.
10a Continent rejecting a loan, initially, for European state (7)
AUSTRIA – Removing (rejecting) A (from the clue) and L (loan initially) from AUSTR[AL]IA(the world’s smallest continent) leaves you with the European state of AUSTRIA.
11a Present with potential to get work, for what it’s worth (4,5)
BOOK TOKEN – A cryptic definition of a present which is often given (a) when you can’t think what else to get and (b) when you want to encourage someone to read. A BOOK TOKEN gives one the potential to get a work of fact or fiction to the value of the amount on the token, ie for what it’s worth.
12a British people’s support for couples (5)
BRACE – a double definition – BRACE can mean support in the sense of give firmness to something; it can also mean a pair or couple. B (British) plus RACE (people).
13a Extremely cold part of journey back I had (5)
GELID – An adjective meaning icy cold – a reversal of LEG (part of a journey) followed by ID (I’D or I had).
15a Something extremely prized by golfer — uncomfortable neckwear? (9)
ALBATROSS – A lovely cryptic definition/double definition clue – A golfer like our friend Gnomethang would be delighted to score an ALBATROSS or three strokes less than par on a hole. Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner shot an albatross and the dead bird was hung around his neck – symbolically this means an oppressive and inescapable fact or influence, which might make one feel very uncomfortable.
17a Accommodated as soldiers given hostile reception (9)
BARRACKED – Another double definition – soldiers accommodated in barracks or part of a verb meaning to be given a hostile reception, usually by cheering ironically. (Useful fact of the day, apparently in Australia and New Zealand, it means exactly the opposite and is used to shout encouragement).
19a Celebratory call from crude lout (5)
YAHOO – Three double definitions in a row. This time an exclamation of joy, excitement etc means the same as a boorish lout (so called after the animals in human form in Gulliver’s Travels).
22a Composer extremely attached to his country (5)
SOUSA – John Philip SOUSA, famous for his military marches – SO (extremely) plus USA (the country where he was born).
23a Put back in control, say (9)
REINSTATE – To put back or restore to a former condition – REIN (control) and STATE (say).
25a Cause of tears about religious belief (7)
OPINION – A belief or judgement – insert PI (obtrusively religious) into that vegetable guaranteed to make most people cry when they chop it, the ONION.
26a Dense alien found in wooded area (7)
THICKET – THICK (dense) plus everyone’s favourite movie alien, ET – a THICKET is a dense mass of trees or shrubs.
27a Close telly, oddly, as latest programmes are shown (7)
NIGHTLY – Given the number of repeats we have to endure on television, I think Virgilius just means ‘evening television’ when he says ‘latest programmes’ ! NIGH (close here means near rather than shut) followed b the odd letters of TeLlY.
28a Form of energy involving carbon, as a rule (7)
REGENCY – A body or person entrusted with government – Insert C (carbon) into an anagram (form of) ENERGY.
1d Job secure? Sack given peripatetic worker (7)
POSTBAG – Someone whose work involves a lot of walking, a postman, would carry a POSTBAG. POST (job, position) and BAG (secure or claim).
2d Relating to a part in play, we hear, having successful run (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL – An expression that sounds like relating to, or on, a role in a play, actually means having continuing luck or success.
3d American producing verses from part of Bible, following priest (5)
ELIOT – TS Eliot, the American poet that many people assume must be English. ELI (the Old Testament priest) followed by OT (the Old Testament, the first part of the Bible).
4d Quite high-ranking club, say, one might play in this game (9)
BLACKJACK – The Jack of Clubs is a high ranking card in a pack – one of 52 cards in a game of BLACKJACK or twenty-one.
5d Source of ideas — bath, originally, then shower (5)
BRAIN – Virgilius’s BRAIN has some wonderful ideas – B (bath originally) followed by RAIN (a shower of…).
6d It has pieces of information year after year, very little (4-5)
ITSY-BITSY – An informal adjective for tiny or very little – ITS (it has) + Y (year) followed by BITS (pieces of information) + Y (year).
7d Artist put in much energy creating hotchpotch (7)
FARRAGO – A disordered mixture or confused mass of objects or people – FAR (too much) RA (the usual abbreviation for an artist who is a member of the Royal Academy) and GO (energy).
8d Underwear found in parts of chest, perhaps (7)
DRAWERS – I am not sure anyone still wears these close fitting undergarments for the lower part of the body and the legs but (and it’s another double definition) DRAWERS can also mean part of the furniture in which you might keep said underwear, a chest of DRAWERS.
14d Coward, for example, showing mad traits after breakdown (9)
DRAMATIST – Noel Coward wrote several plays and so is an example of a DRAMATIST which is an anagram (after breakdown) of MAD TRAITS. Presumably ‘mad traits’ is a reference to his song “Mad Dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun”.
16 Resentful about editors giving one minimal accommodation (9)
BEDSITTER – Minimal accommodation combining a bedroom and a sitting room: Insert EDS (editors) into BITTER (resentful)
17 Band leader equally quickly producing instrument (7)
BASSOON – A large woodwind instrument – B (band leader) plus AS SOON (equally quickly, at the same time as).
18d Determining course in river excursion (7)
ROUTING – Sorting out a route or course – R (river) plus OUTING (excursion).
20d Listen, as husband, with attention and range of knowledge (7)
HEARKEN – an archaic or literary way of saying listen – H (husband) plus EAR (attention) and KEN (a noun meaning a range of knowledge).
21d Too much time’s put in, out in the open (7)
OVERTLY – an adverb meaning open to view: OVERLY (too much) with T for time inserted.
23d Not set to take charge of US city (5)
RUNNY – not set , so inclined to run – split 3,2 it would say RUN NY (run, ie take charge of, the US city of New York).
24d Major political movement including second member for a lark? (5)
SWING – A major shift in political opinion (especially at a General Election) is a charade of S (second) and WING (a member or limb of a lark or any other bird. I had the answer for this almost immediately but it took me ages to sort out the wordplay – I think it was the pesky ‘including’ that prevented me from seeing the obvious.
Thanks to Virgilius for another great Sunday crossword. See you same time next week.