ST 2663 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2663

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2663

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment *****

A cryptic crossword doesn’t have to be difficult to be wonderfully enjoyable as is proved by this Sunday puzzle which was my puzzle of the week some 11 days ago.  My top top  favourites have to be 15a and 21d.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1 Bachelor in repeated shows ridiculously wins everything (6,3,5)
SWEEPS THE BOARD –   Insert B (Bachelor) into an anagram (ridiculously) of REPEATED SHOWS.

9 Common complaint, sore back, creating period of tension (4,3)
COLD WAR –  That common complaint, the COLD, followed by a reversal (back) of RAW (sore).

10 Blow up new tyre needing air that is lying around (7)
INFLATE – Insert N (new) and FLAT (tyre needing air) into IE (that is).

11 Lawyer oddly lacking in Scottish town (3)
AYR – remove the odd letters (lacking) from lAwYeR.

12 Person called to order drink (11)
BENEDICTINE –   Double definition – a monk from a particular order or the alcoholic drink formerly made by him and his fellow monks.

14 Religious education included in Conservative party’s statements of belief (6)
CREDOS –   Insert RE (Religious Education) between  C (Conservative) and DO[‘]S (party’s)

15 Artist, architect, and engineer putting sign outside on a road (8)
LEONARDO –   insert into the zodiac sign of LEO, ON and A (from the clue) and RD (the abbreviation for road).

17 Mischief-maker not breaking law, it’s understood (8)
IMPLICIT –  IMP (mischief-marker) and LICIT (legal, so not breaking law).

19 Row across river to provide warning (3-3)
TIP-OFF –  Poor Gnomey, if only he hadn’t been stuck in a basement when he was scheduled to prepare this review, he might have got away with it… as it is, I can’t help but draw attention to the fact that once again the river, the location of which has caused him so much grief in the past is back, as in this clue  the Italian River PO is inserted into a TIFF (row or slight quarrel), the result then split 3-3.

22 Convincingly made clear what bacon is for dependants (7,4)
BROUGHT HOME  –  An expression meaning to successfully accomplish a task can also mean to provide material support for your family.

23 Highly rocky situation politician isn’t ending (3)
TOR –  Simply remove the last letter from a TORy politician.

24 University official is shown round a nuclear facility (7)
REACTOR – Simply insert A from the clue into an official in some university colleges, a RECTOR.

26 Check age and name for old-timer (7)
VETERAN –  VET (check) plus ERA (age) and N (name).

27 Incomplete screening — biased excerpt from the clip seen (7,7)
PARTIAL ECLIPSE –   The incomplete screening of one heavenly body by another.   PARTIAL (biased)  followed by ECLIPSE which can be found hidden in an excerpt from thE CLIP SEen.


1 Ambitious types that may be found in mobile class, mostly rich? (6,8)
SOCIAL CLIMBERS –  An anagram (may be found in) MOBILE CLASS and RIC (mostly rich).

2 Provide big picture in general, though disorganised (7)
ENLARGE –  An anagram (disorganised) of GENERAL.

3 Boy in family flanked by men on board in uncle’s business (11)
PAWNBROKING – Always worth remembering that more often than not, when you have ‘uncle’ in a clue, it is usually slang for a pawnbroker.    Insert BRO (brother, boy in family) between PAWN and KING (two ‘men’ on a chessboard).

4 Monarch’s supporter taken by surprise in hearing (6)
THRONE –  A simple homophone (in hearing)  of THROWN (taken by surprise).

5 One who acts badly as Duke in role I’ve revised (4-4)
EVIL-DOER  –  Insert D (Duke) into an anagram (revised) of ROLE IVE.

6 Lout starts off on all fours (3)
OAF –   The ‘starts’ of On All Fours.

7 More inclined to stop working without raise? Just the opposite (7)
READIER –  Do the opposite of the wordplay and put  REAR (raise) without or outside DIE (stop working)

8 Discussion among people whose positions may be very far apart (14)
TELECONFERENCE –  A cryptic definition of a meeting between people physically separated but connected by video, audio or computer facilities.

13 European producing strangely innocent short story (11)
CONTINENTAL –   An anagram (strangely) of INNOCENT followed by TAL[e] (short or truncated tale or story).

16 Climber writes a novel about island (8)
WISTERIA –  An anagram (novel) of WRITES A with I (island) inserted.

18 For a sailor getting a raise, equitably distributed? (3,4)
PRO RATA –   PRO (for) followed by a reversal of A (from the clue) and TAR (sailor).

20 Unfashionable hairstyle making sudden appearance (7)
OUTCROP –  A sudden occurrence, usually referring to an exposed edge of rock.   OUT (unfashionable) and CROP (short hair style)

21 Screen part in which mysterious smile attracts most viewers (6)
LOUVRE – part of a blind or screen has the same name as the museum in which the painting of the lady with the mysterious smile, the Mona Lisa, can be seen, if you can fight your way through the other people also wanting a glimpse of her.

25 For example, a little rum baba (3)
TOT –  Double definition to finish – a small serving of rum or a young child who might be called ‘baba’.  There is also a cake mentioned in the clue but that serves both to slightly mislead the solver and make us hungry.

A big thank you to Gnomey’s employers for keeping him in a dark basement longer than he ought to have been as it gave me this unexpected chance to enjoy a great crossword for a second time.  Technically he is back doing Saturday reviews and me Sundays, but who knows!