ST 2654 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2654

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2654

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This one really grew on me as I reviewed it. Some great simple cluing with very smooth surface readings.

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1a           Seafood I served with pickle (6)
SCAMPI – The pickle being an impish young scamp placed before I.

4a           Work that one gets in this store may be novel (8)
BOOKSHOP – A reasonably straightforward cryptic definition.

10a         Pedigree of computer company? Its product supposedly impacted scientist (5,4)
APPLE TREE – One’s pedigree is one’s family TREE. Place it after the late Steve Job’s company. The clue alludes to the story of Sir Isaac Newton’s idea for gravitation coming from the falling of an apple from a tree.

11a         Philosopher that one saves from danger and successfully brings home (5)
BACON – 3 definitions. Francis BACON the natural philosopher, having had ones BACON saved and bringing home the BACON after a successful deal for example.

12a         Experience an evening out in damp late autumn (7)
PLATEAU – The evening out being an evening out of a hill or mountain. It is hidden in damP LATE AUtumn.

13a         Crewman in small tub getting time off work (7)
SABBATH – Place an AB (Able Bodied seaman) inside S(mall) and BATH (tub).

14a         What’s excessive I had put back, just the same (5)
DITTO – OTT (Over the Top, Excessive) and I’D all reversed.

15a         Sack after protest, with bishop removed from service (8)
DEMOBBED – BED (sack colloquially) after B for Bishop after DEMO (protest).

18a         Fish in river turned right into bottom of boat (8)
MACKEREL – Reverse (turn) the CAM river and then place R(ight) into the KEEL of a boat.

20a         Diamond, say, set in a ring, returned in final letter (5)
OMEGA – Another reversal, this time of GEM inside A and O (ring). The final letter of the Greek alphabet.

23a         Eye partly taking in second drink (7)
RETSINA – S for Second in RETINA, part of the eye.

25a         Duke about to put two and two together, say, as follower of fashion (7)
FADDIST – A Duke is a FIST (put up yer dukes!) and including ADD for ‘put two and two together’ you get your person easily swayed by current trends (fads).

26a         Gentle British countryside (5)
BLAND – B for British and LAND for countryside. Maybe not an obvious synonym until you consider curries!

27a         Doing something repeatedly — over time, that is helping (9)
ITERATION – Place T for Time inside I.E. (that is) and add RATION for helping. For those who don’t know this is most commonly used in mathematical terms for a feedback process where the result of a calculation is placed back in to the same calculation ad nauseam. Makes some lovely pictures!

28a         Greatly disturbed about husband’s listlessness (8)
LETHARGY – An anagram (disturbed) of GREATLY around the outside of H for Husband.

29a         Commercial opening that occurs before Christmas (6)
ADVENT – A charade of AD (commercial) and VENT (opening).



1d           Showed irritation over European stock’s panicky reaction (8)
STAMPEDE – STAMPED (one’s foot in irritation) over (above in a Down Clue) E for European.

2d           Road surface that makes snake stop moving (7)
ASPHALT – A simple charade but nicely achieved. ASP and HALT.

3d           OK price we arranged for this form of labour (9)
WORKPIECE – An excellent clue. You need to fix a price per unit for this type of work in order to make money and it is an (arranged) anagram of OK PRICE WE.

5d           Firm I develop is unfortunately misrepresented as uncomplicated (14)
OVERSIMPLIFIED – Conversely, an anagram indicated by ‘unfortunately’ of FIRM I DEVELOP IS.

6d           Something for barbecue — king turned over little one (5)
KEBAB – Yummy! K for King (from the chess notation) followed by a reversal of BABE (little one, child)

7d           Alternative for the acre? (7)
HECTARE – I have seen it before but it is still a great clue and an &Lit (all in one). An alternative anagram of THE ACRE for our Metric World.

8d           Last of brandy added to party drink, making you stupefied (6)
The definition here means ‘concussed by a series of blows to the head’ rather than being aggressive after an excess of alcohol. Take the (e.g.) Rum PUNCH and at the last letter in brandY.

9d           Innovative foundation seizing opportunity (14)
GROUNDBREAKING – BREAK for ‘opportunity’ inside GROUNDING which is a foundation in the singular.

16d         American woman joining group that can afford Internet access (9)
BROADBAND – I loved this as it contains the New Yoik (American) slang for a woman (“Any news from Abroad?”). Add BAND (group) to find the higher speed Internet connection.

17d         Tough instructor making me train furiously before start of tournament (8)
MARTINET – Not a common word but slightly more common in Crosswordland methinks!. An anagram (furiously) of ME TRAIN before the starting letter in Tournament.

19d         Working on pamphlet, do some drawing (7)
ATTRACT – A simple charade but another very natural surface reading. AT (working on) and TRACT (a pamphlet). The definition is nicely disguised.

21d         Building‘s inside unfinished if I cease (7)
EDIFICE – The apostrophe -‘s should read as IS, i.e. the synonym for a building IS inside (hidden in ) the last four words.

22d         Like some South Africans, bowled in test (6)
TRIBAL – B for Bowled (from the – sorry – cricket abbreviation!) inside TRIAL for ‘test’.

24d         I, as indicated by pilot, land in Asia (5)
INDIA – Using the NATO (and others) phonetic alphabet will give you I for India.
Personally I much prefer the following:
A for ‘Orses
B for mutton
C for miles
D for mation
E for brick
F for lump
I for the engine
Q for ages
Not forgetting R for Askey
T for one (or two!)
Finally, Z for
I’ll get me coat and see you next week! Thanks to Virgilius!



5 comments on “ST 2654

  1. Great review gnomethang, I like your phonetic alphabet, especially R. Agree about the puzzle, the surface reading was great.

    1. Thanks, although thinking about it, and given his diction, R for Mullard might be more appropriate!

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