ST 2633

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2634

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Afternoon All! Another fine puzzle from Virgilius that was on the gentle side.

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           Complain about partners being put under spell (7)
BEWITCH – Its BITCH (complain, carp, beef) around E and W – East and West playing partners in bridge – being inside.

5a           Talk together about island as source of timber (7)
CONIFER – Place I for Island inside CONFER for talk together. The definition is a source of timber (i.e. a tree).

9a           Excel in eminence in public work (7)
OVERTOP – To excel in eminence. This is a charade of OVERT (public) and Opus – the abbreviation for a musical work.

10a         Restyle, originally, in short fashion (7)
TERSELY – An original anagram of RESTYLE means ‘in a short fashion’ with regards to verbal speech.

11a         Multiple goals, perhaps, represented in kitsch art (3,6)
HAT-TRICKS – If you score multiple (3) goals then you have an anagram, perhaps represented by, KITSCH ART

12a         Moderate line that supports creative effort (5)
EASEL – I think that we had EASEL in a recent Virgilius puzzle. In any case it supports an artistic or creative effort and is a charade of EASE (moderate) and L for Line.

13a         It detects vehicle approaching in either direction (5)
RADAR – RADAR is a palindrome (reads the same in either direction) and if you pointed your gun in either direction you would detect said vehicle – a definition plus cryptic definition.

15a         Part of Ireland far away, going by air (9)
TIPPERARY – A nice gentle clue if one remembers that ‘air ‘ can also mean ‘song’. Altogether now….

17a         Clerk shut up drug offender (3-6)
PEN-PUSHER – A menial civil servant (CLERK) is a charade of PEN (shut up or enclose) and a (drug) PUSHER.

19a         Starts to prepare Wimbledon courts for top players? (5)
SEEDS – One seeds the grass (e.g. for a Wimbledon tennis court) and the top 16 in each competition are known as SEEDS

22a         Refuse after short time, showing poor judgment (5)
TRASH – The American for refuse or rubbish. Add an adjective for ‘showing poor judgment’ to the shortened version of Time.

23a         Questions and answers in schematic arrangement (9)
CATECHISM        Being a good lapsed Catholic Boy I know that an anagram of SCHEMATIC is “A summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians.”

25a         Create disturbance — a barrier contains it (7)
AGITATE – A GATE (A barrier) contains IT from the clue to make a verb meaning ‘create disturbance’.

26a         Armed citizens prepare to fire back — I fired inside (7)
MILITIA – Reverse AIM (prepare to fire) and insert I LIT (I LIT for I Fire) inside. The result is a band of armed citizens without governmental authority.

27a         Substitute for match, less effective in scrum? (7)
LIGHTER – Another definition and cryptic definition. The first is a substitute for a match to light a cigarette. The second relates to the fact that a lighter person would be less effective in a rugby scrum.

28a         Man on board finishes off the repair quickly in colony (7)
ROOKERY – Start with a ROOK (A chess piece or man on board) and add the final letters of thE repaiR quicklY to get a colony of corvid birds.


1d           Order member to be concerned about right (7)
BROTHER – A member of a religious order. BOTHER ( to be concerned) is around (about) R for Right.

2d           What’s left inside we had forcibly seized (7)
WRESTED – The REST (what is left) is inside WE’D to give a verb meaning forcibly seized.

3d           Train from Waterloo heading North, crossing West End (5)
TUTOR – What an excellent surface reading perfectly describing the journey. The definition is Train as in school. Reverse ROUT (a battle that was a complete hiding/rout) and place it around (crossing) T – The end of west. Excellent clue.

4d           Source of beer and whisky, that’s enjoyed by young players (9)
HOPSCOTCH – A charade of HOP (a source of beer) and SCOTCH (whisky) gives a childhood game.

5d           Penetrated one’s skin (5)
CUTIS – A charade of CUT (penetrated with a knife perhaps) and IS for One’s gives a term for the skin of a human.

6d           Calm, never flustered? Not so (9)
NERVELESS – A flustered anagram of NERVE and then LESS (not so much) for a word meaning clam or cool.

7d           African plant is set up in liberated area (7)
FREESIA – One where I trusted the wordplay thinking that the plant was like the Freisian cow!. A reversal (up) of IS inside FREE (liberated) and A for Area.

8d           It isn’t common as reward for writer (7)
ROYALTY – I spent a bit of time looking for AIN’T until I realised that ROYALTY are not common and that they are also the name for what a writer is paid for reissues.

14d         Loutish group of players getting plastered (9)
ROUGHCAST – Another charade, this time of ROUGH (loutish) and CAST – the group of thespians. The definition is ”A coarse plaster of lime, shells, and pebbles used for outside wall surfaces.”

16d         Assigned task to catch up Dr Jekyll, for example? (4-5)
PART-TIMER – A reversal of REMIT (assigned task or scope of work) and TRAP (to catch) gives a description of the time scale that Dr Jekyll, being one of two personalities, has for dominion over Mr Hyde’s body.

17d         Occur after end overturned in unexpected hazard (7)
PITFALL – To FALL is to OCCUR (this Christmas falls/occurs on a Tuesday for example). Place this after the reversal of TIP (end) to get a potential hazard.

18d         Getting closer to eccentric grannie (7)
NEARING – An eccentric anagram of GRANNIE also means ‘getting close to’

20d         Stone used in English edifice, or construction of St Paul’s (7)
EPISTLE – place the abbreviation for Stone in weight (ST) inside E for English and PILE – a large country mansion or edifice. The definition is a construction of St Pauls (written to all sorts of people!)

21d         Amount woman combined in account, in short (7)
SUMMARY – A charade of SUM (amount) and MARY (a woman) gives a précis of a document or story.

23d         Jump over net (5)
CLEAR – Two definitions, clear a hurdle and the amount of profit that you net.

24d         Band with little room, at first, for large instrument (5)
CELLO – The band is a circle – O after a CELL (a little monastic room).

See you all next week !.


  1. TimCypher
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I found this really, really difficult, and, looking at many of the answers, I don’t think I ever would have got them – nevertheless, I enjoyed the stuff I could do.
    Small typo in the hint for 17a, I noticed… ;)
    Many thanks, Gnomethang, for the illumination! :)

    • Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      oops!, thanks TC!. Why do they put those letters together on the keyboard?!