ST 2630 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2630

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2630

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All! Apologies for the tardiness – I got stuck into drawing some floor plans and forgot to schedule the blog! A thoroughly excellent puzzle (again!) from Virgilius and again my puzzle if the week.

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1a           Kind and good in part of Africa (6)
BENIGN – A word for kind. Insert G for Good into BENIN –an African (I think!) country.

4a           Is boring doctor with ailments (6)
DRILLS – A charade of DR and ILLS for ailments or medical conditions.

8a           Agricultural worker with fine upper body parts (4,4)
FARM HANDS – Another charade, this time of F (for Fine) plus ARM and HANDS – a collection of upper body parts.

10a         Landowner assembling small quantity of leaves (6)
SQUIRE – A landowner or laird. Start with S for Small and add QUIRE – an amount of writing paper – 20 or 25 sheets of the same type equal to one twentieth of a ream.

11a         What comes first for dairymaid? Cows, perhaps (4)
HERD – The first (letter) for a dairymaid might be HER D, which is also the collective noun for a clump of cows.

12a         Sign of disapproval about medic, so sad (6,4)
THUMBS DOWN – The medic abbreviation we want this time is the MB. Place him inside THUS (for so) and add DOWN for sad to get a sign of disapproval (or execution in Roman times!)

13a         Music producer overlaying quiet song with woodwind instrument (6,6)
RECORD PLAYER – An insertion of P (quiet/piano) and LAY (a song) into RECORDER (a woodwind instrument). The result is the device that produces music (albeit from recorded vinyl).

16a         Expert from university town checking text (12)
PROOFREADING – Said expert from a University town (from where I write this blog, dear reader) might be described as a PRO OF READING.

20a         In cathedral city, stopping early to consume liqueur (10)
CHARTREUSE – This liqueur is found by taking all but the last letter, or ‘stopping early’, of CHARTRES, a cathedral city in France (I believe) and adding USE for consume.

21a         Something worn with trousers, i.e. clobber (4)
BELT – A belt in the face (clobber) and a belt to go with your strides (an item of ‘clobber’ in the vernacular).

22a         Domestic equipment that’s naturally abhorred? (6)
VACUUM – It was first stated by Aristotle in the Fourth book of Physics that ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’ – HORROR VACUI in Greek. He forgot to mention that cats abhor them too.

23a         Convert got holy urge, finally, in priest’s study (8)-
THEOLOGY – The formal study of religious doctrine. Make an anagram (convert) of GOT HOLY and the final letter in (urg)E.

24d         Being a witness, give information about European drug (6)
SEEING – Place SING (give information like a canary) around E for English and E for the drug Ecstasy. Being a witness to events.

25d         A trust broken in royal house (6)
STUART – A simple anagram of A TRUST (broken) to give a Royal House of Scotland and then England.


1d           Piece of jewellery couple hired (8)
BRACELET – The couple is a BRACE (e.g. of pheasants) and LET means hired or leased. The result is an item of jewellery.

2d           Wandering, yet sane as far as the Scots are concerned (5)
NOMAD – This word can be used as an adjective as well as nomadic. If Big Boab said he was NO MAD in his brogue then he would be declaring his sanity.

3d           Admittedly gifted (7)
GRANTED – A double meaning; granted means admittedly as a concession in a debate and also means given or gifted (as in a pardon).

5d           Shrub grew on part of coast (7)
ROSEBAY – This shrub is a charade of ROSE (grew or increased in height) and BAY, a common part of a coastline

6d           Cleaned up foreign article covered by editor (9)
LAUNDERED – The French definite article, LA, is UNDER (covered by) ED for Editor. It may read topsy-turvy in a down clue but it is perfectly OK!

7d           Quartet of players embracing the radio, initially, for broadcast (6)
STREWN – Broadcast here means randomly thrown out (e.g. seeds or breadcrumbs). Take the four players in a bridge game (North, South, East and West) and place them around the first letters (initially) of T(he) and R(adio)

9d           As result of which recipient of bad service repeatedly gets the point (6,5)
DOUBLE FAULT – A gentle cryptic definition of the breakdown of a tennis player’s serve, giving the recipient a point in the game.

14d         Suitable work on piano, or melody (9)
OPPORTUNE – A charade of OP (an abbreviation of OPUS for a musical work) and P(iano) followed by OR and TUNE (melody). The definition is suitable as in an opportune moment.

15d         Form of entertainment for audience being highly moved (2-6)
IN FLIGHT – Another cryptic definition for the films and music that we may enjoy whilst being transported at altitude in an airplane (the audience being highly moved).

17d         A sermon sorted out fellows having rows (7)
OARSMEN – I suspect a little bit of devilry here from Virgilius. As Crypticsue noted on the day the answer might well have been MOANERS (being an anagram, sorted out, of A SERMON). In fact these fellows (who rarely moan – thanks gazza!) have rows in rowing boats.

18d         He can stand for one, so can I, and so, from what we hear, can you (7)
ELEMENT – The clue of the day and possibly of the week. Start thinking of chemical elements and you realize that ‘He’ can stand for Helium (the placement at the beginning of the clue hides the necessary capitalization), then I can stand for Iodine, and finally U as a homophone (from what we can hear) can stand for Uranium in the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

19d         Tricks in clubs and another suit, discarding king (6)
CHEATS – A word for tricks or cons. Start with C for clubs then add HEA(r)TS – another suit of cards

21d         Light timber, using a block, hoisted (5)
BALSA – Having made model airplanes as a kid I was aware of this light wood. Reverse (hoisted) A SLAB (a block).

See you all next Friday for another Sunday review.

1 comment on “ST 2630

  1. Whoop Whoop Virgilius that I could do. Only had to resort to the dictionary for the lay = song in 13a for correct parsing. Thanks to V and G, and (off topic big time) to all the fantastic staff last weekend at Alexandra Palace who helped me enjoy the Florence and the M
    achine concert.

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