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ST 2629

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2629

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

The usual excellent start to Sunday with 14a being the clue of the day for its lovely surface reading.  Thanks once again to Virgilius for brightening up a very rainy, grumpy, Sunday morning.

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1a Child engaged in a piece of music (6)
SONATA –  A straightforward charade to start us off –  SON (child) AT (engaged in) plus A (from the clue) gives us an instrumental composition.

4a Walk into small pub — that provides break for typist (5,3)
SPACE BAR – The key on a keyboard used to produce spaces between words – S (small) and BAR (pub) with PACE (walk) inserted.

10a With pleasure, serving American mushrooms, for example (5)
FUNGI –  Mushrooms are an example of FUNGI –  FUN (pleasure) and GI (a serving American soldier).

11a Lively savage embracing Virginia (9)
VIVACIOUS – An adjective meaning lively is obtained by inserting VA (the abbreviation for the American State of Virginia) into VICIOUS (savage, malignant, spiteful).

12a  Part of defence for second person breaking down (7)
SWEEPER – A defensive football player with no marking responsibility who assists other players –  S (second) plus WEEPER (someone breaking down …  in tears).

13a Assemble around noon in Irish quarter (7)
MUNSTER –  Inserting N (noon) into MUSTER (assemble [usually troops for inspection]) to get the Province in the SW of Ireland.

14a Renowned German rebuilt estate in Berlin (6,8)
ALBERT EINSTEIN –  One of Germany’s most renowned scientists is obtained from an anagram (rebuilt) of ESTATE IN BERLIN.  Clue of the day, 5* entertainment all on its own.

17a Repeat, having complaint about lack of education (14)
ILLITERATENESS –  The state of being unable to read or write, probably due to a lack of education.   Insert ITERATE (repeat, say again) into ILLNESS (complaint).

21a Old play I’m revising for ancient sports ground (7)
OLYMPIA – A place where the Olympic Games were originally held  – O (old) followed by an anagram (revising) of PLAY IM.

23a Artist’s medium or moderate ability, initially (7)
TEMPERA –  Paint produced by mixing powdered pigments with egg yolk – a charade of TEMPER (moderate or soften metal) and A (the initial letter of ability).  

24a Laments in Greek island about maiden not fair (9)
COMPLAINS – Another way of saying laments –  Insert into the Greek island of COS, M for maiden and PLAIN (fair here meaning beautiful rather than light-coloured).

25a Hits drive to one side, going left into grassy area (5)
SWARD –  DRAWS – part  of a verb,  meaning hits a golf ball intentionally in such a way that it moves from one side to the other in the air, is reversed (going left in an across clue)  to give us an area of green turf .

26a Speculated, having secured right in legal document (8)
WONDERED –  Speculated, guessed or WONDERED –   WON (having secured) followed by DEED (legal document) into which is inserted R for right.

27a Excel as risk-taker (6)
BETTER –   A double definition to finish the acrosses – either a verb meaning to excel or someone to takes risks and gambles.


1d Flatter piano used on TV serial (4-4)
SOFT-SOAP –  To flatter for some end –   SOFT (piano being the musical instruction meaning to play softly) and SOAP (a TV serial).

2d New and novel bar, changed beyond words (3-6)
NON-VERBAL –  Communication without words – changed indicates than an anagram of NOVEL BAR should follow N (new).

3d Tourist runs into customer liked by staff? (7)
TRIPPER –   Staff in service industries always like a customer who tips, or TIPPER.   Insert R (runs) into TIPPER  to get someone who goes on tourist excursions, a TRIPPER.

5d Special treatment as VIP who makes pictures, by the way? (8,6)
PAVEMENT ARTIST – Someone who creates pictures on pavements (by the side of the road or way) – an anagram (special) of TREATMENT AS VIP.

6d A couple of top brass, eccentric and kind of shy (7)
COCONUT –  Our local church fete always has a coconut shy.   A couplem so two CO[s] (Commanding Officers in the Army are part of the ‘top brass’) followed by NUT (an informal term for an eccentric or crazy person).

7d Vessel crossing line in swell (5)
BLOAT – Swell or puff out  – simply insert L (line) into BOAT (vessel).

8d Optimistic about a monarch showing this kind of devotion (6)
ROSARY – A string of beads used by Roman Catholics and others as a guide to devotions – insert A (from the clue) and R (Rex or Regina, King or Queen, Monarch) into ROSY (optimistic, hopeful).

9d Old border lines are revised for state, going beyond what’s justified (14)
OVERGENERALISE –   This one took some working out to solve  –   It is part charade/part anagram –  O (old)  plus VERGE (border) followed by an anagram (revised) of LINES ARE, the whole being a verb meaning to  make a statement beyond what’s justified.

15d Batting on English cricket side, an opener for Test lacking style (9)
INELEGANT  –  And another charade – Lacking style or refinement –   IN (batting) E (English) LEG (one of the two sides on a cricket pitch) AN (from the clue) and T (the ‘opener’ or first letter of Test).

16d Key inhabitant I defame (8)
ISLANDER-   A key is a low island or reef – someone who lives on one would be an ISLANDER, which if split 1,7 would make I SLANDER or I defame.

18d Sudden desire to have simple reform around University (7)
IMPULSE – A sudden  desire or whim –   Insert  U (university) into an anagram (reform) of SIMPLE.

19d A thousand, in a sense, running amok in a group (2,5)
EN MASSE –   Another anagram with an insertion –  Insert M (the Roman numeral for 1,000) into an anagram of A SENSE – running amok being a splendid anagram indicator here.

20d Doctors instill fear in capital (6)
MOSCOW – The capital of Russia –  just merge MOS (Medical Officers or doctors) and COW (instill fear, intimidate).

22d The writer invested in currency of one foreign country or another (5)
YEMEN –  Insert ME (here Virgilius is talking about himself as the writer) into YEN (the currency of Japan) and you get YEMEN (another country).

I am off back to two weeks of Saturday reviews.  Only time, and Gnomey’s work schedule,  will tell who is reviewing the next two Sunday puzzles!

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