ST 2660 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2660

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2660

A full review by crypticsue

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

I read the clues through once, got a couple, read them through again and thought ‘oh heck’ and then,  suddenly and thankfully,  light dawned and this splendid puzzle ended up being solved in a very reasonable time.   Definitions Favourites


1 Puts on radio in front of trendy craft (7)
AIRSHIP –  AIRS (puts on the radio) followed by (in front of) HIP (following the latest trends).

5 Support the eccentric visionary (7)
PROPHET –   Follow a PROP (support) with an anagram (eccentric) of THE.

9 Some animal lovers found everywhere (3,4)
ALL OVER –  Time for the trademark hidden word –   This time it is in animAL LOVER , split 3,4.

10 Piece of furniture — later rather than earlier Adam (7)
DRESSER –  the ‘earlier’ Adam didn’t wear any clothes!

11 Designer, initially unknown in catalogue (9)
INVENTORY –   INVENTOR plus Y (one of the mathematical unknown quantities)

12 Wait around edge of altar to become this? (5)
BRIDE –   Someone who might indeed wait at the altar.   BIDE (wait) with the edge of altaR inserted.

13 Shrub removed from nursery long ago? (5)
ELDER – A cryptic definition of a type of tree or shrub – as an adjective, ELDER would of course mean having lived a longer time so ‘out of the nursery’.

15 Daily supplier of fresh herb before middle of winter (9)
NEWSAGENT –   Supplier of the daily paper –  NEW (fresh) SAGE) and the middle letters of wiNTer.

17 Original flier revealing international conspiracy I must break up (4,5)
TEST PILOT –   The first, or original, person to fly a plane.   TEST (international) followed by PLOT (conspiracy) into which is inserted I (I must break up).

19 Stupid fool abridged French author (5)
DUMAS –  The author of amongst other works, The Three Musketeers.   Shorten two words (abridged) DUM[B] (stupid) and AS[S] (fool).

22 Section of factory, one playing a part in production (5)
ACTOR –   Another hidden word – this time in fACTORy.

23 Spread of oil on side of ship is minister’s responsibility (9)
PORTFOLIO –    PORT (the left side of a ship) followed by an anagram (spread) of OF OIL.

25 Optimal policy, darling, when receiving Valentine, say (7)
HONESTY  is the best policy.   HONEY (darling) with ST inserted (Valentine being an example, say, of a Saint).

26 Having a fling, old sport (7)
HURLING – Double definition – flinging with violence or a game similar to hockey, mainly played in Ireland.

27 Final act of play — not Hamlet (7)
DECIDER – An action that proves decisive, like the winning goal in a match.  Hamlet of course couldn’t decide whether it was to be or not to be!

28 Half of whom may forgive the other half’s errant behaviour? (7)
DEMIGOD –  A cryptic definition of a half-god, the second half of which might forgive the behaviour of a half human-half mortal.


1 A form of bad behaviour, grasping at riches, primarily (7)
AVARICE –   Lovely &Lit.    A (from the clue) VICE (form of bad behaviour) with R (riches primarily) inserted, the whole being a form of bad behaviour involving an eager desire for wealth and riches.

2 Again experienced leftie covering iniquity up (7)
RELIVED –   Insert a reversal (up in a down clue) of EVIL (iniquity) into a RED or leftie.

3 Where to find peace, as man, woman, and children finally do (5)
HAVEN –  or HAVE [an] N, as do maN, womaN and childreN finally.

4 Staff for each admiral partly switched (9)
PERSONNEL –   PER (for each) followed by Admiral NELSON once you have moved the second half of his name before the first half (partly switched).

5 Down person, perhaps, in rage (5)
PADDY –   The informal way of referring to someone from the Republic of Ireland, say from County Down, or an informal term for a rage or temper.

6 How game opponents may regard each other, having fallen out? (9)
OVERBOARD –  Double definition – from either side of a board in a game of chess, for example;  or having fallen out of a ship.

7 Showing opposition — it’s rising in difficult situation (7)
HOSTILE –   Insert a reversal of ITS (rising) into a HOLE or difficult situation.

8 Suffering concealed by one mentor after another (7)
TORMENT –  Write out MENTOR MENTOR (one mentor after another) and hidden inside is another word for suffering.

14 In other words, it’s unusually hard, per se (9)
REPHRASED  – an anagram (unusually) of HARD PER SE.

16 Crucial point in the war’s misread, editor concludes (9)
WATERSHED –  A crucial point between two conditions – an anagram (misread) of THE WARS followed by ED (editor).

17 Turned over painter’s work that woman had harshly criticised (7)
TRASHED –   A reversal (turned over) of ART (painter’s work) followed by SHE[‘]D (that woman had).

18 An act is awfully, awfully wicked (7)
SATANIC – An anagram (awfully) of AN ACT IS.   I toyed with the definition just having one ‘awfully’ but decided that SATANIC is definitely awfully, awfully wicked!!

20 Getting a lot out of American hero embracing one (7)
MILKING  – Manipulating or exploiting –   Insert I (embracing one) into M(artin) L(uther) KING, the American hero.

21 Son was a lumberjack, worked really hard (7)
SLOGGED –   S (son) plus LOGGED (cut or hauled logs, as does a lumberjack).

23 Busybody finishing up her daily puzzle later (5)
PRYER –   The final letters (finishing) of uP heR dailY puzzlE and lateR.

24 University put in shape for marketplace (5)
FORUM –  Insert U (university) into FORM (shape).

It is only when you revisit this puzzle to prepare the explanations that you fully realise how extra Virgilius-y this crossword was.  A wonderful mix of clues, hidden words, just the right number of anagrams and some variations on the usual, including 4d, where you had to move up part of a word) and 8d, where you had to write the word out twice in order to ‘see’ the solution.

4 comments on “ST 2660

    1. I agree! I just looked back to my comment on the day and I wrote ‘by far the best Sunday puzzle from Virgilius for a while’.
      Thanks to Virgilius, and to CS.

  1. As usual, thanks to BD, crypticsue and everyone

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    Full disclosure. Among the first collection of books is Across and Down the Guardian Path with Brendan, a selection of 20 Brendans from the last 4 years, soon to be followed by Off the Beaten Path with Virgilius, a collection of 4 each of 5 different crossword variations.

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