ST 2632 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2632

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2632

A full review by crypticsue

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

Best puzzle of the week, thank you Virgilius.   Some clues fall into easier to solve than explain territory, and it is impossible to pick favourites from so many good examples, although revisiting the crossword for the review has made the one clue I didn’t like ‘grow’ on me! 

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1a American male in bar who can’t relax on holiday? (6)
BUSMAN –  A busman’s holiday is a holiday spent in activities similar to one’s work, so presumably one wouldn’t be having a relaxing time away from  it all.   Insert US (American) and M (male) into BAN (bar here meaning an impediment or prohibition).

4a Way in Westminster political leader, bit by bit, gets followed by everyone (4,4)
PALL MALL – the famous London street is obtained by splitting (bit by bit) the initials used to refer to the Prime Minister  and following each initial with ALL (everyone).

10a Short and stout, perhaps — it’s of little significance (5,4)
SMALL BEER –   A charade of SMALL (short) and BEER (perhaps indicating that  beer, of which stout is an example, is required) make an expression meaning something trifling and unimportant.

11a Noise of engine in very restricted space (5)
VROOM –   An informal interjection denoting the sound of an engine revving is obtained by following V (restricted indicates that you need the abbreviation for very) and ROOM (space).

12a British on top of the world — certainly not before time (7)
BELATED  – An adjective meaning coming too late or out of date.   Simply follow B (British) with ELATED (on top of the world).

13a Where some top Americans learn it’s difficult bringing in a lot of change (7)
HARVARD – One of America’s top universities is obtained by inserting into HARD (difficult) almost all of VAR[y] (a lot of indicates that you need three of the four letters of a verb meaning to change or alter).

14a Look for water to put out fire, say (5)
DOWSE –   There are two ways of spelling DOWSE – with a W it means to look for water using a divining rod;  DOUSE means to put out or extinguish – the  indicator ‘say’ tells you that you need the former spelling/meaning; and if you weren’t sure,  the checking letter  from 2d meant that it couldn’t be the alternative.

15a Pardon me — that’s not right way to make an impression (4-4)
NAME-DROP –   An anagram (that’s not right) of PARDON ME produces a way of trying to impress others by casual mention of important and well-known people  as if they were your friends.

18a Meat I got after parking a small vehicle (8)
PASTRAMI –  Smoked highly seasoned beef –   Follow P (parking) A (from the clue) S (small) and TRAM (vehicle) with I (I got after).

20a Like judge in robes, switching sides (5)
SOBER –  One might expect a judge in court (wearing his robes) to be, as the well-known expression says, ‘sober as a judge’.    The clue is very clear – switching the first and letters of robes over  makes  SOBER.

23a Pondered hard about hot temperature (7)
THOUGHT –   Pondered or THOUGHT –   Insert H (about hot)into TOUGH (hard) and then follow the result with T (temperature).

25a College heads approving preparation of courses (7)
COOKING –   The preparation of food for courses of meals, COOKING.   CO (the heads or first two letters of College) following by OKING (an informal synonym for approving/endorsing).    This was my least favourite clue – I know OKing is in Chambers but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!

26a Contacts some workers in hotel and leaves (5)
PAGES –  A triple definition – PAGES can mean (a) contacts by calling aloud, especially using a public address system; (b) boys employed as messengers in hotels; and (c)  leaves or sheets of paper making up a book.

27a Poet using energy between pass and hilltop (9)
COLERIDGE –   The poet who gave us the Ancient Mariner amongst other works is obtained from some lovely clear wordplay  –  COL (mountain pass) E (energy between or inserted) and RIDGE (hilltop).

28a Novel Thoreau finally had written (8)
AUTHORED – The past participle of a verb meaning to write or create as an author – an anagram (novel) of THOREAU followed by the last letter (finally) of haD.

29a Feel bad about putting rook with another bird (6)
REGRET –  To feel bad or wish something had been done otherwise – R (the abbreviation for a Rook in a game of chess, not a bird at all, the word ‘another’ being misleading) and EGRET (a white heron).


1d Person who meddles by holding us, and then party, up (8)
BUSYBODY –  A term for someone who meddles in others’ affairs –   Insert US into BY (by holding us) and then insert into a second BY a reversal (up in a down clue) of DO or party . Is there a technical term for these clues (4a being another example today) of using the same letters or words twice?

2d Credulously believe insufficient evidence for climate change? (7)
SWALLOW –   One of the Chambers’ definitions of SWALLOW is indeed credulously believe.   As the old proverb says “One swallow does not make a summer” so the arrival of just one of these migrating birds would not be enough to say for definite that the warmer weather had arrived. 

3d Share everything the writer found in parts of Bible (9)
ALLOTMENT –  A part or share –  a super word sum: ALL (everything) OT (the Old Testament) ME (the writer, Virgilius) and NT (New Testament).  We quite often get the abbreviation of one or other part of the Bible in a crossword clue, but it is a rare day that we get both.

5d As Republican president, I’ll ban a monarch after revolution (7,7)
ABRAHAM LINCOLN –   The 16th President of the United States was a member of the Republican Party.  Although he led the country through the ‘revolution’ that was the American Civil War, after revolution is an anagram indicator, telling us to rearrange ILL BAN A MONARCH to get the name of the President.

6d Contributor to world revolution? Set up first part of it (5)
LOVER –   Love makes the world go round or so they say –  Someone who might contribute to the turning or revolution of the world is a hidden reversal (set up) of the first part of REVOLution.

7d Largely outspoken, getting into trouble — kind of green (7)
AVOCADO – the green much used in bathroom suites in the 1970s  – Insert VOCA[l] (largely indicates that you need almost all the letters in VOCAL or outspoken) into ADO (trouble, fuss).

8d Old letter from innocent person to lawyer in US (6)
LAMBDA – the Greek letter Λ is formed by following LAMB (someone innocent, simple or gentle as a lamb) with DA (District Attorney or an American public prosecutor or lawyer for a district).

9d Editor’s work, providing guidance on part of speech (7,7)
LEADING ARTICLE –  Every paper contains an article written by the Editor, known as an editorial or LEADING ARTICLE.   LEADING (providing guidance) and ARTICLE (part of speech).

16d Treatise is required in key academic programme (9)
DISCOURSE –  A treatise, speech or sermon –   D (a key in music) IS (from the clue) and COURSE (academic programme).

17d Piece newspaper people put in daily, initially (8)
FRAGMENT – A small broken piece of something.  The daily here is the Financial Times and you need the initials by which it is commonly known: FT into which should be inserted RAG (a down market newspaper) and MEN (people).

19d In company of doctor, gripped by feelings of dread (7)
AMONGST –  A preposition meaning amid or in the company of –  Insert MO (medical officer, doctor) into ANGST (a general state of dread, fear or anxiety).

21d Less able to see great performance in play (7)
BLINDER –  More blind or less able to see – BLINDER – can also be an informal term for a spectacularly good performance.

22d Perfect state? Not really, but opiates, in part, can produce it (6)
UTOPIA –  It wouldn’t be a Sunday puzzle without a Virgilius hidden word clue, would it?   Hidden in bUT OPIAtes is an imaginary state believed to be ideal, perfect or excellent.

24d With moving air, suddenly band provides great enjoyment (5)
GUSTO –  a noun meaning exuberant enjoyment –  GUST (a sudden blast of wind) and O (the letter O looks like a band or ring).

When I solved 1a, in addition to remembering the old saying,  I thought ‘Toughie setter’.     Later on Sunday I had an email from a whimsical fellow blogger wondering if Virgilius was including  the names of Toughie setters in his  crosswords.   There wasn’t one in ST2631 but I shall be looking carefully at ST2633 and will report back next week.

3 comments on “ST 2632

  1. The best puzzle of the week (as nearly every week). My favourites were 1a, 1d, 2d and 5d. Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle and to CS for the polished review.

  2. A great puzzle that kept me occupied for yet another long haul flight back from the US.
    In the end, I was missing 12a, 26a and 19d, so many thanks for explaining those. :)

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