ST 2657 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2657

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2657

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Virgilius left out his trademark hidden words in favour of the fourteen letter solutions which made this crossword a smidge trickier than some Sunday puzzles, but still the usual great all round entertainment we have come to expect on Sunday mornings.  As usual the definitions have been underlined

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1a Philosopher with old-fashioned West End address (8,6)
BERKELEY SQUARE – I knew the West End address but had to look up the philosopher.   Apparently George BERKELEY was one of the great philosophers of the early modern period.  To get the solution, we just need to follow his surname with SQUARE (old-fashioned).

9a Saw pawn and bishop trapping rook again (7)
PROVERB – Saw here means a saying or proverb.   Insert between (trapping ) P (pawn) and B (bishop) R (rook) and OVER (again).

10a Bear with oddly brash, pompous official (4-3)
POOH-BAH – A person who holds many offices simultaneously and affects superiority, named after a character in The Mikado.   POOH (the bear) plus the odd letters of BrAsH.

11a Guy‘s wife (3)
RIB – A double definition –   (a) to ridicule (b) wife (because Eve was formed from one of Adam’s ribs).

12a Kind of teaching aid, as usual, I avoid changing (11)
AUDIOVISUAL –  An anagram (changing) of USUAL  I AVOID gives us teaching aids using both sound and vision.

14a Not without being selected (6)
INSIDE – Another double definition – not outside/selected for  a  team.

15a Queen entering museum, hospital, or gallery (8)
VERANDAH –   We have this combination of wordplay quite often when there is a VERANDAH to be clued.   Insert ER (the cipher of the current Queen) into the V AND A (Victoria and Albert Museum) and finish with H for hospital.

17a Booth, for example, containing a pair of animals at home (8)
ASSASSIN –  Booth is a famous example of an ASSASSIN as he was the one who killed Abraham Lincoln.   Two lots of ASS (a pair of animals) followed by IN (at home).

19a Start of tragedy framed by Greek character’s disgrace (6)
STIGMA – A disgrace attached to a person.   Insert T (the start of Tragedy) into SIGMA (the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet.

22a Way person, between times, means to take control, dramatically (5-6)
STAGE-MANAGE –   ST (street or way)  AGE (one time) MAN (person) AGE (another time) – the clue tells you to put the ‘person’ between ‘times’.

23a He escaped destruction, but his wife became totally bitter — that’s fate (3)
LOT –   Fate or destiny.   The first part of the clue refers to the fact that, in the Old Testament,  Lot’s wife was told by angels to flee the city of Sodom  and avoid the disaster about to befall the iniquitous city, which he did and was saved.   His wife disobeyed instructions and turned back to look at the city and was turned into a pillar of salt (totally bitter).  

24a For artistic technique, nothing’s beyond me? Just the reverse (7)
IMPASTO –  The technique of using layers of thick paint.  Split 2, 4, 1 it would mean the reverse of nothing’s beyond me.

26a Composed, arranged, and conducted on time (7)
SETTLED –  Composed in the sense of being at rest.   SET (arranged) T (time) and LED (conducted).

27a It’s fun, say, but wrong, sandwiching player — not OK (14)
UNSATISFACTORY –   An anagram (wrong) of ITS FUN SAY with an ACTOR (player) inserted.


1d With note, I pressure skilled worker with craft to create harmony in house (14)
BIPARTISANSHIP  – Harmony between the members of two different factions, for example in the House of Commons.  B (musical note) I (from the clue) P (pressure) ARTISAN (skilled worker) SHIP (craft).

2d Diamond ring he oddly mislaid, initially, on coach (7)
RHOMBUS –  A diamond or lozenge-shaped object – the initial letters of Ring He Oddly Mislaid followed by a BUS (coach).

3d The speaker, taken in by Lear, is led astray? Limerick’s part of it (7,4)
EMERALD ISLE –  Limerick is part of the Irish Republic  known as the EMERALD ISLE because of its greenness.   Insert ME (the speaker) into an anagram (astray) of LEAR IS LED.

4d Make material by me do, when revised (6)
EMBODY – To make tangible or material.   An anagram (revised) of BY ME DO.

5d Sat still after drink, it’s apparent (8)
SUPPOSED –   Apparent or imagined –   SUP (drink) and POSED (sat still).

6d Visitor from far away, possibly, that nobody here has recognised (3)
UFO –  A cryptic definition leading to the abbreviation for an Unidentified Flying Object – possibly something visiting from outer space which no-one can recognize or identify.

7d Get a kickback? That’s one way books are fixed (7)
REBOUND –  To bound back from a collision sounds like the way a book in need of repair might be fixed.

8d With total effort in difficult situation, we hear, passionately defending monarch (14)
WHOLEHEARTEDLY –  WHOLE (a homophone of a hole or difficult situation  followed by HEATEDLY (passionately) into which has been inserted R (Rex or Regina, monarch).

13d Teach in unit that’s phoney, not genuine (11)
INAUTHENTIC –  An anagram (phoney) of TEACH IN UNIT

16d Fare from Rome or other EU capital to part of UK (8)
RIGATONI  –  A type of pasta which originated in Italy and would be eaten in Rome –  RIGA (the capital of Latvia) TO (from the clue) and NI (part of the UK).

18d Make point on small instrument, then two points (7)
SHARPEN  – S (small) HARP (instrument) E  N (two compass points).       

20d Scientist I spotted aboard old ship that’s docked (7)
GALILEO  – Insert I (I spotted) into a GALLEO[N] – docked tells you to remove the ‘tail’ or last letter of the ship.

21d Minute pack-animal provided in mountainous region (6)
MASSIF – A central mountain mass – M (minute) ASS (the second appearance  today  of this pack animal) and IF (provided).

25d Marine mammal mostly is found here (3)
SEA –  Most of the marine mammal the SEA[L] is found in the SEA.

I will be back tomorrow with the first of two Saturday blogs, while, in theory,  Gnomey is responsible for two weeks’  Sunday puzzles .  In reality, it probably depends whether he is stuck in a basement  at the eleventh hour!