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ST 2641

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2641

A full review by crypticsue

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


As Libellule put it so nicely, Sunday cryptics have become a ‘thing of beauty’, and this one which appeared on the 27th May was no exception.   This makes it very difficult for the two of us that have to review them as it is so difficult to find new and different superlatives to use.   I will just say thank you once again to Virgilius, your crosswords are the perfect way to start any Sunday.


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           Where you’ll find king, queen or bishop, and second of pawns in position (6)
PALACE –  The home of a king, queen or bishop isn’t, as I first tried to make it, a chessboard, but a PALACE, obtained by inserting the second letter of pAwns into a PLACE (position).

4a           British cargo transporter in shady cove (8)
BLIGHTER –   B (British) plus LIGHTER (a large open boat used in unloading and loading ships) gives us an informal term for a shady cove, scamp, beggar or wretch.

10a         Time before noon, when husband’s away, for affair (5)
AMOUR –   Any time before noon could be described as an AM (morning) HOUR.   Remove the H (Husband’s away) and merge the remaining letters to get another term for an affair of the heart.

11a         Remarked about male in area being proposed as candidate (9)
NOMINATED –  Proposed formally for election –M (male) IN (from the clue) and A (area) are all inserted into NOTED (remarked).

12a         Object a tiny bit after front page is removed (7)
ARTICLE –  Remove the first letter (front) of Page from a PARTICLE or tiny bit to be left with an object or item.

13a         Muscle of pugilist initially wrapped by seconds (7)
TRICEPS –  TRICES is another way of saying moments.   Apparently in nautical parlance the verb trice means to haul or tug by means of a pulley and a trice was the time it took for one tug or pull).  Insert  P (Pugilist initially) into TRICES to get  muscles at the back of the upper arm to straighten the elbow, which would certainly be used by pugilists!

14a         Original paths made by PM once in London park (9,5)
HAMPSTEAD HEATH –  An anagram (original) of PATHS MADE followed by (Ted) HEATH, a Prime Minister in the 1970s makes an area of parkland in London.

17a         What’s characteristic about diamonds I catalogued? Resistant to change (14)
TRADITIONALIST – Someone with excessive belief in traditions  would definitely be resistant to change.   TRAIT (characteristic) with D for diamonds inserted, followed by I (from the clue) and ON A LIST (catalogued).

21a         Make a recovery as result of doctoring miracle (7)
RECLAIM – an anagram (doctoring) of MIRACLE gives us a verb meaning to recover or win back.

23a         Model gets right into hit number (7)
PATTERN – A model or template for something –  PAT (hit) and TEN (number) with an R (right) inserted into the number ten.

24a         Venue for one sport or another (9)
BADMINTON –  The venue for the famous horse trials has the same name as a game played with rackets and a shuttlecock.

25a         Sonneteer, oddly enough, making contemptuous remark (5)
SNEER –  Have a look at the odd letters of SoNnEtEeR and you will find a hidden contemptuous remark.

26a         After competition I had little energy – it’s just before nightfall (8)
EVENTIDE –   EVENT (competition) ID (I’d or I had) and E (the little abbreviation for energy) go together to make the period just before nightfall that appeared in several crosswords in the preceding week.

27a         This river, from the headwater, reaches large estuary, ultimately (6)
MERSEY –   Obvious which river it was from the checking letters but why?   It can be found ultimately in the last letters of froM,  thE,  headwateR, reacheS, largE, estuarY.


1d           Long ago, they ruled islands in sound (8)
PHARAOHS –   The old Egyptian rulers sound like the FAROES Islands.  A very nice homophone clue provided you could remember how to spell PHARAOHS!

2d           Circus performer who has some pride in his act (4-5)
LION TAMER –   A cryptic definition of someone who has a circus act.  I don’t know quite how many lions count as a pride but probably too many for the average circus lion tamer to cope with.

3d           Body of animal without tail found outside a South American city (7)
CARACAS –   Remove the last letter from a CARCAS[E] or dead body of an animal, an insert an A (found outside A) in the middle of the remaining letters to get the capital and largest city of Venezuela.

5d           Curbed two people, it’s said, in this business (7,7)
LIMITED COMPANY –  A company whose owners have liability for debt only up to the amount of their financial stake in it.   LIMITED (curbed or confined) and COMPANY  (as everyone knows:  two’s company, three’s a crowd).

6d           Broken finger restricting you, we hear, in use of arms (7)
GUNFIRE  –  An anagram (broken) of FINGER with a U inserted (we hear indicates a homophone of you) makes the use of arms by means of the firing of guns.

7d           What Basie and Ellington each had? Right (5)
TITLE –  The nicknames of the musicians Count Basie and Duke Ellington are, in addition,  appellations of rank or titles.   A title can also mean a right or claim to something.

8d           Root crop recipe’s one thing to eat (6)
RADISH –  We will soon be eating this salad root crop from our garden –   R (recipe) plus A DISH (one thing to eat).

9d           Judged badly, but not excessively (14)
UNDERESTIMATED –  A cryptic definition of something judged badly or valued too low rather than too high.

15d         Lack of originality seen in special interests (9)
TRITENESS –  Another anagram (special), this  time of INTERESTS give us a noun meaning unoriginal or used until the novelty and interest are lost.

16d         Fish in small can poet finishes (8)
STINGRAY –   Another  charade to get us a fish –  S (small) TIN (can) and GRAY (the poet who wrote Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.

18d         It’s radio, mostly, that’s ruined this record producer (7)
DIARIST –   Someone who produces a record of daily life –  an anagram (ruined) of most of ITS RADI[O].

19d         Performer, a couple of times, separately covered by a wage increase (7)
ARTISTE   –   A public performer or entertainer –  Take  A (from the clue) and RISE (wage increase) and insert two Ts (a couple of Times) one between the R and the I and the other between the S and the E.

20d         Pub set up drink outside, ready for ploughman (6)
ARABLE –  Land fit for ploughing –  Insert a reversal of BAR (pub set up) into ALE (a drink of beer).

22d         Ask for money, having daughter imprisoned? (5)
CADGE – to beg or scrounge for money – insert D (daughter) into a CAGE or prison.

Gnomethang’s turn to search for superlatives next time.   I am off back to Saturday reviewing, where you are just as likely to need to find a superlative or two but don’t get confused as to when the review has to be scheduled (remembering that you have to wait 11 days before you can explain the Sunday puzzle does take some concentration, I can tell you!) 

[The last sentence was typed a few days before the Crossword Editor emailed to say that the next Saturday puzzle would have an extended closing date and hence require a later review date.   I have left it in to show you the sort of confusing life that Gnomey and I are forced to lead these days!]