ST 2646

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2646

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All!. This is the review of ST 2646 from Sunday 1st July. Once again Mr Brian Greer as given us a class high quality puzzle with some great surface readings and two trademark hidden words. Sorry for being a bit brief in the review – I have a bit to sort out before a day off playing golf on Friday. I’ll just nudge you in the direction of 17d – an &Lit (all in one) that was probably overlooked but is an absolutely top notch clue.

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           Collected crops, first removed from landing-stages ahead of time (7)
HARVEST – Remove the starting letter (first removed) from wHARVES and add T for Time to get a noun for crops that have been collected.

5a           Fine way ruler backed liberty (7)
FREEDOM – To get a synonym for liberty start with F for fine then reverse MODE (way) and ER (Elizabeth Regina, our ruler).

9a           Progressive artist framed by defamatory statement (7)
LIBERAL – Progressive as opposed to strict.  Place a Royal Academician (RA) inside (framed by) LIBEL – a defamatory statement.

10a         Corrupt senator’s action against government (7)
TREASON – An anagram (corrupt) of SENATORS gives an act against the government that is proscribed by law.

11a         Like records kept about king’s main opponent (4-5)
ARCH-RIVAL – Records kept for posterity are described as ARCHIVAL. Place it around R for Rex (King) and split as (4-5) to get a main opponent, Moriarty to Holmes for example.

12a         Frequently visit husband and relative (5)
HAUNT – H for Husband and AUNT for relative for a verb meaning to visit frequently.

13a         Start off without a meal (5)
LUNCH – A midday meal. Remove the A from LaUNCH (start off)

15a         Chap pursuing woman around base, a journalist (9)
SUBEDITOR – A chap who is wooing a woman is a SUITOR. Place him around a BED or base (think bed-rock) to find the journalist.

17a         Excited model glad to get top award (4,5)
The top podium place at e.g. the Olympics. Make an anagram (excited) of MODEL GLAD.

19a         International medical group left European healthy (5)
WHOLE – If you are healthy, as well as being ‘Hale and Hearty’, you are also WHOLE. Add L(eft) and E(uropean) to the abbreviation for the World Health Organisation.

22a         Problem with cereal crop — hence end of wheat? (5)
ERGOT – Here’s the definition: “A fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that infects various cereal plants and forms compact black masses of branching filaments that replace many of the grains of the host plant.”. ERGO (for hence) with the end of wheaT. Brilliant surface reading.

23a         It’s futile being blunt? (9)
POINTLESS – A slightly chestnutty double definition. Without a purpose and also descriptive of a pencil with no point.

25a         A writer’s attribute (7)
ASCRIBE – A SCRIBE is a writer historically. Run together it makes a verb meaning attribute.

26a         Fast strike, with no particular purpose (7)
RAPIDLY – Fast or quickly. A charade of RAP (strike, hit) and IDLY (with no particular purpose)

27a         Makes claims in convoluted legalese without reaching conclusion (7)
ALLEGES – Makes claims in a court room for example. An anagram (convoluted) of LEGALESe with the last letter removed.

28a         Hold up or turn us back before pass (7)
SUSPEND – Reverse (back) US in front of (before) SPEND (used as a synonym for pass as in ‘pass time’)



1d           Piece of luggage, dilapidated, found in entrance (7)
HOLDALL – A general purpose piece of luggage. Place OLD (dilapidated) inside of HALL, the entrance.

2d           River crossed by burning boats? (7)
RUBICON – If you burn your boats (or your bridges) then you can only move on so you are at the point of no return. This applied to Julius Caesar who forfeited his Imperium (right to command) by commanding troops inside Rome (the boundary being the Rubicon river) having deliberately crossed with only one legion in order to make conflict in Rome inevitable. I could go on but you get the picture!

3d           Mistake, putting nothing into English educational foundation? (5)
ERROR – Place O (nothing) into E (English) and RRR (The educational establishments of Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithematic) to make a mistake.

4d           In total disbelief, initially, somehow see live broadcast (9)
TELEVISED – A bit tricky to sort this one out but the answer was clear from the checking letters. Start with the initial letters of Total and Disbelief and inside place an anagram (indicated by somehow) of SEE LIVE. Broadcast is the definition and not an anagram indicator.

5d           Disastrous way to refer to Capone? (5)
FATAL – If you called Al Capone ‘FAT AL’ to his face then you might suffer FATAL consequences (e.g. swimming with the fishes!)

6d           Part in theatre? Yes, had own kind of make-up (9)
EYESHADOW – A super hidden word (indicated by part in) is a type (kind) of make-up. theatrE YES HAD OWn.

7d           To throw into disorder is awfully stupid, with ringleader at the centre (7)
DISRUPT – An awful anagram of STUPID with the insertion of the leader in Ring, R, gives a verb meaning ‘to throw into disorder.

8d           Drive around separate area of UK to do ongoing checks (7)
MONITOR – MOTOR (drive) around N.I. for Northern Ireland – the separate area of the UK. The definition is ‘to do ongoing checks’

14d         Man’s right to get free hamper (9)
HAMSTRING – A well disguised anagram (to get free) of MANS RIGHT gives a word meaning hamper or impede.

16d         Attempts to contain large and deceptive fellow in game (9)
BILLIARDS – A game played on the green baize. L for Large and LIAR (a deceptive person) inside BIDS (attempts)

17d         Island ultimately seized by order of Reagan (7)
GRENADA – The ultimate letter of islanD is seized by (inside) an anagram (order of ) REAGAN giving an island that was invaded in shady circumstances by the USA under the Reagan government. Totally excellent clue that I missed on the day but checking for review threw it up. “Little bit of politics, oo-er missus!”. The fact that the entire clue is the wordplay and the definition makes this a brilliant &Lit.

18d         With good reason, serving American in pub (7)
LOGICAL – Place a G.I. (Short for General Issue – an American soldier or anything else owned by the US military) inside LOCAL – The pub close to one’s house from which I write this blog, Dear Reader, – to get an adjective meaning ‘with good reason’ or ‘well thought out’.

20d         Outstanding piece of spinning, perhaps? Exactly (7)
OVERDUE – A charade of OVER (6 cricket deliveries which might be ‘spining’  –  indicated by perhaps since other bowling styles are available) and DUE (exactly, as in due North) gives a word meaning outstanding or late.

21d         As contribution to lectures, say, educator made an effort (7)
ESSAYED – To have tried or to have had a shot (made an effort). It is another excellent hidden word (a contribution to) ‘lecturES SAY Educated’.

23d         Journalists from Washington, originally, shortly heading south (5)
PRESS – The abbreviation dor the PRESident of the USA is PRES (George Washington was an original example). Add S for South to get the journalists en masse.

24d         Character flaws of leaders in the younger part of society (5)
TYPOS – A lovely clue to finish with . The character flaws are mistakes in written letters (characters). We need the starting letters (leaders) in The Younger Part Of Society. None of them can write anyway, grumble etc.!

Thanks to Virgilius for the fun – I’ll see you all next week.



  1. pommers
    Posted July 12, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Morning gnomey

    I actually remember this puzzle so it must have made an impression! Agree about 17d, must be one of the best clues of the year even if it wasn’t difficult. Also 6d was pretty good!

    Thanks for the review which reminded me of a splendid puzzle.

    • gnomethang
      Posted July 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Evening pommers!. Thanks for reading and commenting. Myself and Crypticsue have mentioned that we feel a bit left out sometimes.
      We also keep running out of ways to express our gratitude for the usually Best Puzzle of the Week.