ST 2656 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2656

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2656

A full review by crypticsue

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

Near perfection once again.   So much so that I arm wrestled Big Dave, who was supposed to be blogging this one in return for my doing that Sunday’s hints, in order to be able to  review it and enjoy it all over again.  Definitions  Favourites

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1a Medicinal plant poet might use with porridge? (6)
BORAGE  – We started with d’oh of the day.   The medicinal plant which rhymes with porridge, although which poet put those two together in a poem, goodness  only knows!

4d Bad smell from sulphur and fish (6)
STENCH –    S (Sulphur) plus TENCH (fish)

8a Herb little woman found in grass (8)
MARJORAM –  Insert Jo (the heroine of Little Women) into MARRAM (a type of seaside grass).

10a  Laity confused about new kind of prayer (6)
LITANY – an anagram (confused) of LAITY into which is inserted (about) N for new produces a prayer of supplication.

11a One thrown out by Islamic group (4)
SHAH – Remove the I from the Islamic group SHIAH and you are left with the ruler who was thrown out by them.

12a Strange doctor identifying some body parts (5-5)
FUNNY-BONES –  That bit of your elbow that hurts or ‘goes funny’ when you bang it.   FUNNY (a synonym for odd or peculiar)  followed by  BONES, an informal way of referring to a doctor.

13a Having demolished last of whisky, function all right? Nonsense (12)
GOBBLEDYGOOK – Unintelligible official jargon or pompous utterance.    GOBBLED (demolished [by eating] Y (the last of whiskY), GO (function) and OK (all right).

16a Horrid agents frantically driving hard bargains (5-7)
HORSE-TRADING –   An anagram (frantically) of HORRID AGENTS  produces another way of saying hard bargaining.

20a Strong attacks from teams not lacking width (10)
BROADSIDES –   A strong verbal critical attack, or the discharge of all guns on one side of a ship of war.   SIDES  that are BROAD , ie not lacking width.

21a Common complaint from Conservative, not new (4)
COLD – the most common ailment – C (Conservative) plus OLD (not new)

22a Like a court having a judicial process (6)
ATRIAL – Merge A (from the clue) with a  TRIAL or judicial process to get an adjective meaning like a central courtyard.

23a Medical organisation that’s a standard feature for England (3,5)
RED CROSS –  The badge of the medical organization the RED CROSS also features on the standard or flag of England.

24a Move back inside tent for healthy breakfast (6)
YOGURT – Insert a reversal (back inside) of GO (move) into a YURT (a Mongolian tent made of animal skins) to get something that might be eaten as part of a healthy breakfast.

25a Change to better part in Measure for Measure (6)
REFORM – Hidden in MeasuRE FOR Measure  is a verb meaning change to better.


1d Contest in two parts — learner can get into both in a broadcast (8)
BIATHLON – A contest combining shooting and cross-country skiing – an anagram (broadcast) of BOTH IN A plus L for learner.

2d Set up hospital, open for Asian VIP (5)
RAJAH –   Reverse (set up in a down clue)   H for hospital and AJAR (slightly open).

3d Wild animal‘s mistake crossing one river (7)
GIRAFFE –   Insert I (one) and R (river) into a GAFFE or mistake.

5d Prior to house match, rousing call to pack (5-2)
TALLY-HO – The huntsman’s cry to the pack of hounds, telling them that a fox has been sighted.   Follow TALLY (match or correspond) with HO (the abbreviation for house).

6d OK with trend, we somehow made professional connections (9)
NETWORKED – Developed business and professional connections through social meetings.   An anagram (somehow) of OK , TREND and WE.

7d Composer revealed by letters he has left (6)
HANDEL – Another Virgilius trade mark clue –   the letters of HE – H AND E followed by L for Left give us the German composer.

9d The advances he makes are not without interest (11)
MONEYLENDER –  A cryptic definition of someone who lends money, usually at a high rate of interest.

14d Method of execution for making pale ale, for example (9)
BEHEADING –   Cutting the head off, as you do when turning the word pale into the word ale.

15d Personification of great power, awfully masculine? Not I (5,3)
UNCE SAM – The nickname for the citizens of the USA (great power) is an anagram (awfully) of MASCUL[I]NE with the I removed (not I).

17d Kind of thief who makes little noise? (7)
RUSTLER –   Someone who steals cattle sounds like they only make a soft whispering sound.

18d Remainder live around university (7)
RESIDUE –   RESIDE (live) around U (university).

19d Quite attractive (6)
PRETTY  – A fairly obvious double definition.

21d Stuff on board old vessel south of Cape (5)
CARGO – Goods carried on a ship or aeroplane.   Follow (south of) the abbreviation for Cape with the ARGO, the vessel used in the search for the Golden Fleece.
Just think, if I hadn’t ‘found’ this blog, and got back into solving the Sunday puzzles, how much entertainment I would have missed.   I get to review the next Sunday puzzle too, lucky me.