ST 2637 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2637

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2637

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****


Before I start getting comments from people who think I have reviewed the wrong crossword, can I just remind everyone that,  because Telegraph Puzzles have extended the end date for Sunday puzzles from five days after publication to eleven days after publication,   this, if you can remember that far back, is the crossword which appeared on Sunday 29 April.

Once again, Virgilius provided us with a splendid treat of a puzzle – it was almost a shame that it was so straightforward as it was over all too soon.   Lots of entertainment as usual and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

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           Quarrel resulting from formal clause, being oddly selective (6)
FRACAS – A noisy quarrel can be found hidden in the odd letters (oddly selective) of FoRmAl ClAuSe.

4a           Mature wife accepted by set of people (4,2)
GROW UP –  To become mature or adult – simply insert a W (wife) tin a GROUP or set of people, and split the result 4,2.

8a           Island producing pieces of music without inferior band (8)
BARBADOS –  Put BARS (pieces of music) around (without meaning outside)  BAD (inferior) and O (a band or circle) to get a Caribbean island.

10a         Fabric constituting a disguise put on duke (6)
DAMASK – A silk fabric is derived by following D (duke) with A (from the clue) and MASK (disguise).

11a         Note-pad? (4)
FLAT – A double definition.  A musical  note that lowers a note a semitone or a storey of a house used as a separate residence (pad meaning a bed, room or home).

12a         Specially made rescue craft carrying bird of prey or songbird in US (6,4)
MEADOW LARK –  We all had need of this specially made rescue craft on the day this crossword appeared.  An anagram (specially) of MADE followed by an OWL (bird of prey) and ARK (the aforementioned specially made rescue craft!) go together to give us an American name for a songbird of the genus Sturnella.

13a         Second direct transformation was unsettling (12)
DISCONCERTED –  Another anagram  – a transformation of SECOND DIRECT produces part of a verb meaning unsettling or confused.

16a         Public showering is going too far in preparation for contest (12)
OVERTRAINING – A charade of OVERT (public) and RAINING (showering)  gives us a verb meaning to train so far as to do harm.

20a         Like unobtrusive music coming from second floor (10)
BACKGROUND –  Unobtrusive music played in the  BACKGROUND – BACK (second or support) and GROUND (floor, solid surface).

21a         Name attached to hand puppet (4)
PAWN –   Attaching N (name) to  PAW (hand)  makes a puppet or easily led person.

22a         Providing hospital with capital is minister’s responsibility (6)
PARISH –  The responsibility of a minister of religion is obtained by following the capital of France – PARIS with H (hospital).

23a         Play part in booking learner (4,4)
KING LEAR – One of Virgilius’s trademark hidden clues – and a well hidden one at that!   One of Shakespeare’s plays is hidden inside booKING LEARner.

24d         Hear about something extreme happening (6)
TRENDY –  Happening is an informal adjective meaning fashionable or up-to-the minute, ie TRENDY.  Insert END (extreme) into TRY (hear a legal case).

25a         Crazy lead, for example, taking in North (6)
MENTAL – Crazy and MENTAL are both slang terms referring to the mentally unbalanced.   Lead is an example of a METAL into which should be inserted (taking in)N for North.


1d           Novel funeral I miss in Berlin (8)
FRAULEINI –  The German word for a miss or young lady is an anagram (novel) of FUNERAL I.

2d           To some extent, protecting minute compass (5)
AMBIT – A noun meaning compass or scope –  Insert (protecting) M (minute) into A BIT (to some extent).

3d           Stomach awfully bad indication of what lies ahead (7)
ABDOMEN –  The anatomical word for the stomach is obtained from an anagram (awfully) of BAD followed by OMEN (indication of what lies ahead, sign of a future event).

5d           Old soldier that’s applied to town for celebration? (7)
REDCOAT –   A lovely cryptic definition –  when celebrating, apparently it was originally the Americans who described a noisy and disorderly spree as  ‘painting the town red’.    Historically a British soldier was known as a REDCOAT because of the colour of his uniform jacket.

6d           Common location for court actions (9)
WIMBLEDON –  The area of SW London famous for its common (the home of the Wombles) and the tennis courts where the annual All England Lawn Tennis Championships are held.

7d           Old man’s attempt to make some dough (6)
PASTRY  –  Dough used to make pies etc –  PA[‘]S (old man’s, father’s) and TRY (attempt).

9d           Having a longing for dramatic action with vehicle following older ones (5-6)
STAGE-STRUCK – Passionate about all things theatrical, especially with a strong desire to act.   STAGES (older vehicles) and TRUCK (vehicle) merged and then split 5-6.

14d         In this way, hands are moved across face (9)
CLOCKWISE – A cryptic definition of the way in which the hands on a clock move round its face.

15d         Rapidly develop missile for cold war? (8)
SNOWBALL –  A verb meaning to grow greater ever more quickly in the manner of a ball of snow rolled until large enough to be  used  as a  missile in childish winter fights.

17d         In connection with ground, some clear the decks (7)
EARTHED – An expression meaning connected with the earth, usually used with regard to electrical connections, is hidden in some of clEAR THE Decks.

18d         An old poet performed unhurriedly (7)
ANDANTE  – A musical adverb and adjective meaning moving with moderately slow even expression – AN (from the clue) and DANTE (old poet).

19d         Kind of rock sailor turned over, then another (6)
BASALT –  A dark igneous rock – Reverse (turned over)  AB (Able Seaman, sailor) and follow this with another informal term for a sailor – SALT.

21d         Person who flies a kite as test of audience response (5)
PILOT –  My late father-in-law was in the RAF during the war and always referred to a plane as a ‘kite’.   A double definition to finish with –  someone who flies a plane or a test run of a television programme or series to test  its probable popularity with audiences.

I am back to Saturday duty for a bit  and I leave you with the assurance that Gnomey and I will get to grips with the Sunday  closing dates and review publication  – I just hope he doesn’t have to do any more overtime at work, as that will just add further confusion to the mix!