ST 2652 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2652

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2652

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

Near perfection on a piece of paper – well it makes a change from saying the Best Puzzle of the Week!   All the Virgilius trademark clues, wrapped up in great wordplay.   I do like starting Sunday mornings with a big smile on my face.  Definitions   Top Favourites

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1a Small hint gives you this answer without difficulty (6)
SIMPLY –  S (small) plus IMPLY  (hint or express indirectly) make an adverb meaning in a simple manner, without difficulty.

4a Indication of text missing over page, on which one’s reprimanded (6)
CARPET –  On the carpet is an informal way of saying that one is up before someone in authority for a reprimand.    Insert (over) P for page into a CARET (^)  a symbol  used by proofreaders to show that there is text missing.

8a Court case mostly involved military vehicle (5,3)
SCOUT CAR –  A light armoured car used for reconnaissance purposes is obtained from an anagram of COURT and CAS (mostly involved tells you that you only need the first three letters of CASE).

10a Confidence about sweetheart being extremely faithful (6)
TRUEST –  Most faithful –   Insert E (the ‘heart’ or middle letter of SWEET) into TRUST (confidence in the truth of anything).

11a Colour reused in elegant interior, just in time (4)
TINT – A fine example of a Virgilius hidden word – and this time you get two for the price of one.   Hidden in both  eleganT INTerior and jusT IN  Time is a word meaning colour or shade.

12a On reversing, sounded horn, say, warning ladies and others (10)
NOBLEWOMEN –   Ladies and others collectively, particularly those of high social rank.   NO (a reversal of ON) BLEW (sounded horn) and OMEN (warning).

13a         Announcement intended for spectators but not players, supposedly (5,7)
STAGE WHISPER – A cryptic definition of an audible utterance conventionally understood by the audience to represent a whisper, usually meant to be heard by people other than the person addressed.

16a Illustrated story from his trip — car too noisy (5,7)
STRIP CARTOON –   On first reading, I tried to make an anagram from some of the words in the clue before realising that it is another hidden word!   hiS TRIP CAR TOO Noisy hides a story told in pictures.

20a Personal letters redistributed about US city making power generator (5,5)
SOLAR PANEL  – Inserting the abbreviation for the US city of Los Angeles – LA – into an anagram (letters distributed) of PERSONAL makes a panel of solar cells used to generate electricity by collecting heat from the sun.

21a Dock tail of poodle that’s appealingly pretty (4)
CUTE – dainty or quaintly pleasing –   CUT (dock) plus E (the tail or last letter of poodlE).

22a Cash is not endlessly collected in this! (6)
CASINO – D’oh of the day.    Endlessly is the clear indicator that you remove the last letters of CASh Is NOt to get an establishment for gambling where you are more like to lose cash than win more!

23a Male backed older females taking leading roles (8)
HEROINES – Female leading roles in plays or books –  HE (male personal pronoun) followed by a reversal of SENIOR (older backed).

24a Ultimately, road rage becomes menace (6)
DANGER –  Menace, peril or risk – D (the ultimate letter of roaD) followed by ANGER (rage).

25a Pronounced why, in general, it’s a less important way (6)
BYROAD  – Insert a letter Y (which sounds like why when pronounced) into BROAD (general, covering a wide range) gives us a minor or side road.


1d It’s scary getting converted in this part of church (8)
SACRISTY –  A room in the church where sacred utensils, vestments etc are kept is an anagram (getting converted) of ITS SCARY.

2d Climb Everest, say (5)
MOUNT –  A double definition – a verb meaning to climb or an archaic term for mountain, of which Everest is the tallest example.

3d With good fortune, rising was victorious in Asian city (7)
LUCKNOW –  LUCK (good fortune) and NOW (a reversal of won = was victorious) make the capital city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

5d New part transformed European city (7)
ANTWERP  – Another anagram (transformed) gives us the Belgian city.

6d Place organised at court for rich and powerful person (9)
PLUTOCRAT – Someone who is powerful because of his or her wealth –  PL (the abbreviation for place) followed by an anagram (organised) of AT COURT.

7d Cast was uneasy when resting (6)
TOSSED – Another double definition –  cast in the sense of thrown or what you might have done when unable to sleep.

9d Pub turned up little information on drink — that’s a blow (6,5)
RABBIT PUNCH –  A blow on the back of the neck –  a reversal of BAR (pub turned up) then BIT (a computing term for the smallest unit of information, being an abbreviation for binary digit), and finally PUNCH (a drink of spirits, water, sugar, lemon juice and spice).

14 Period of development, for instance, held up on-line construction? (9)
GESTATION – The period of development between conception and birth – a reversal of EG (for instance) followed by a STATION (a building constructed on, or by, a railway line.

15a Person who looks after kids with nannies (8)
GOATHERD – A superb cryptic definition of someone who tends goats.  My clue of the day.

17d Admonish traveller going on journey without clear destination (7)
REPROVE –   So I knew REP was a traveller but I did have to think about ROVE (to wander about or ramble aimlessly) in order to get a verb meaning to admonish or rebuke.

18d Cause of ill feeling disrupting gallery (7)
ALLERGY –   This having been the worst summer for hay fever for 50 years (well it was for me), I had no trouble with disrupting or making an anagram of GALLERY.

19d Country hiding nothing in scheme tried after three failures? (6)
POLAND –  Easy to work out that inserting an O into PLAN (nothing in scheme) and following it with a D (if you failed to get a mark of A, B or C, you would be awarded a D) would give us a European country.

21d Capital in company affected by inflation? (5)
CAIRO – A nice simple one to finish with –   inflating or inserting AIR into CO – the abbreviation for company) gives us the capital of Egypt.

Thank you to Virgilius for a great puzzle and to the blogging rota which meant that I was the lucky person to get to enjoy this crossword twice over.    I will be back in due course to review next Sunday’s puzzle.

6 comments on “ST 2652

  1. At the risk of repeating myself this was sublime. I have this site to thank for introducing me to Virgilius as I never used to bother with a Sunday puzzle before. Now I’m as addicted as the rest of you much to Mrs S’s frustration!

    Thanks to V & to CS.

  2. Very enjoyable – have come to look forward to the Sunday puzzle – a change from the midweek struggle ! and always brings a smile !

    Thank you CrypticSue for your review and thank you Virgilius for the enjoyment.

  3. I like the definitions underlined as it makes understanding the clue so much easier. I didn’t have time to try this but I see what fun I missed.

    One small point – 13a is all underlined but you are teasing by keeping the solution secret.

  4. Fixed now – thank you. My home computer was at the ‘doctors’ so I had to sort this one out at work and was obviously interrupted at the critical moment.

  5. Re 19d: The whole of “scheme tried after three failures” yields PLAN D. Nothing to do with grades. (It took me two weeks to realize this, by the way.)

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