ST 2644 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2644

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2644

A full review by crypticsue

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

Another  typical Virgilius creation guaranteed to start Sunday morning off with a smile.   If you can remember that far back, this one appeared on Sunday 17 June.


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1a           Notes warning about wife and armed females (10)
MARKSWOMEN  –   Ladies who shoot well at targets –  MARKS (notes) W (wife) and OMEN (warning).

6a           As fine champion, it’s humiliating to lose (4)
FACE –  F (fine) and ACE (champion) go together to give something which if lost, would mean you were humiliated.

9a           Visual aid positioned in front of a single pupil (7)
MONOCLE – A cryptic definition of a type of single eyeglass.

10a         Get very angry in dreadful scene (7)
INCENSE –  A verb meaning to get very angry is obtained from IN (from the clue) and an anagram (dreadful) of SCENE.

12a         One who shows what’s in store for the man in the street (6-7)
WINDOW-DRESSER –  Another cryptic definition , this time of someone who arranges goods in a shop window in order to attract customers in from the street.

14a         Line included by you, e.g. after revising oration (6)
EULOGY –  An ovation praising someone, quite often at a funeral – an anagram (after revising) of YOU EG with L (line) inserted or included.

15a         English union in factory is easily irritated (8)
PETULANT –  An adjective meaning easily irritated, peevish or impatient  – insert E (English) and TU (Trade Union) into a PLANT or factory.

17a         What’s studied by very intelligent scientists? Temperature in part of garden (8)
ROCKETRY –  If something is simple, it is said to be ‘not rocket science’.   Therefore it is obvious that very intelligent scientists would  study ROCKETRY or the scientific study of rockets.  Those of us less scientifically inclined just knew we had to insert T (temperature) into a ROCKERY (part of garden).

19a         Fish Monsieur consumed in room in France (6)
SALMON –   Inserting M (Monsieur) into a SALON (French room) to get a type of fish.

22a         Impartial call for help with party’s work for children (4,2,7)
JUST SO STORIES –   My favourite stories when I was very young – who can forget the ‘great grey-green greasy waters of the Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees’.   JUST (impartial) SOS (the simplest call for help) and TORIES (members of the Conservative Party) rearranged 4, 2, 7.

24a         Ramble aimlessly — it’s one degree below (7)
MAUNDER  –  MA (a degree of Master of Arts) and UNDER (below) go together to make a verb meaning to ramble aimlessly or behave in a listless way.

25a         Asian language and English used in part of Indonesia (7)
BENGALI – The language of the people of Bengal – insert ENG (English) into BALI (part of Indonesia).

26a         Uncontrolled slide killed a lot of Americans (4)
SLEW – a triple definition  (a) uncontrolled slide (b) the past participle of the verb slain and (c) a North American informal term for a large number or amount.

27a         Information about no real changes in stricken city (3,7)
NEW ORLEANS –   The city that was stricken by Hurricane Katrina – Insert an anagram (changes) of NO REAL into NEWS (current information) and split 3,7.


1d           The writer with a way of performing written communication (4)
MEMO – A written brief note – ME (the writer) and MO (the abbreviation for Modus Operandi or way of working).    Many years ago, I worked with someone who wouldn’t undertake any printing job until he had  written instructions in the form of  what he referred to as a MEE MO!!

2d           Frenchman set up rule, making fresh start (7)
RENEWAL – Follow that Frenchman RENE with a reversal (set up in a down clue)  of LAW (rule) to get a fresh start or renewing.

3d           With hindsight, criticised visitor vocally after short time (6-7)
SECOND-GUESSED –  Used hindsight to judge, criticize or find fault –   SECOND (short time) and GUESSED (a homophone (vocally) of GUEST, visitor).

4d           State other exciting option, being extremely selective (6)
OREGON – One of the United States of America is obtained from the outside letters (extremely selective) of OtheR ExcitinG, OptioN.

5d           Invariably imprisoning one old-fashioned offender (4-4)
EVIL-DOER  – an old-fashioned term for a person who does evil :  Insert into EVER (imprisoning invariably) an anagram (fashioned) of ONE OLD.

7d           A name is recollected wrongly — due to this? (7)
AMNESIA –  Lovely all-in-one  clue –   An anagram (recollected wrongly) of A NAME IS makes the medical name for loss of memory, which would indeed cause you to misremember names.

8d           Cursing after director, say, cut short evaluation (10)
EXECRATING –  Cursing or uttering evil against –   EXEC (an informal term for an executive officer ) and RATING (evaluation).

11d         Like inclusive school in which one finds county oddly cautioned a learner (13)
COEDUCATIONAL –  Schools where  boys and girls are educated together –   CO (an abbreviation for county) plus an anagram (oddly) of CAUTIONED, followed by A (from the clue) and L (learner).

13d         Double royalty for American author (5,5)
HENRY JAMES –  The names of two British Kings go together to give us the name of a famous American author.

16d         Can, perhaps, hold back under pressure (8)
PRESERVE –  Putting food into a can is one way in which to PRESERVE it.    P (pressure) and RESERVE (hold back for a future purpose).

18d         Tailor cut some for outfit (7)
COSTUME –  An outfit or piece of clothing for a particular purpose – an anagram (tailor) of CUT SOME.

20d         A blemish concealed by old woman’s cosmetic (7)
MASCARA –  Lovely old  chestnut time!   Insert a SCAR or blemish into MA[‘]S (old woman’s) to get a cosmetic used on eyelashes.

21d         Repeatedly show disapproval of blunder (6)
BOOBOO –  Double an expression used to show contempt to get a noun meaning a blunder.

23d         Bishop is hiding a prejudice (4)
BIAS –   A synonym for prejudice is easily obtained – B (Bishop) and IS with  A inserted (hiding A).

See you next Thursday  with my review of Virgilius’s latest contender for  the award of Best Puzzle of the Week.