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ST 2666

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2666

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All!. Once again this week I found this the best back page puzzle with the usual finely crafted clues. The difficulty was toned down a tad which allowed me to sit back and savour the clues.

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1a           Weapons commanders in East deployed around vital centre (8)
SHOTGUNS – SHOGUNS, the Japanese military commanders around the centre of the word viTal.

9a           A Scottish island hit back, showing irrational fear (8)
PARANOIA – A reversal of A, IONA (the Scottish Island) and RAP for hit.

10a         Release without charge (4)
FREE – A simple chestnutty double definition!.

11a         Equestrian business, large one — jolly firm (6,6)
LIVERY STABLE – L for Large then I for one followed by VERY (jolly) and then STABLE (firm).

13a         Owns articles after second husband disappears in South Coast town (8)
HASTINGS – HAS THINGS (owns articles) with the second instance of H for Husband removed.

15a         Writer adding stone to middle in eating place (6)
BISTRO – ST, the abbreviation of Stone in weight inserted into the middle of a BIRO (writer).

16a         Farm worker putting duck inside enclosure (4)
PEON – The definition is a farm labourer is Spanish speaking America. Place O for duck/zero inside a PEN (enclosure)

17a         Stated way in which landed gentry may feel at home (5)
MANOR –  A cryptic definition a homophone (indicated by stated) of MANNER/way.

18a         Instrument of torture producing cut around ribs (4)
RACK – Two definitions – the second a rack of lamb perhaps.

20a         Substitute for one who takes a knock? Not so (6)
RINGER – A RINGER is a substitute for a usually less able player in sport. The cryptic part wants us to look for a knocker on a door and then, using ‘not so’ makes us look for an alternative (a ringer using the doorbell).

21a         University in top ten, maybe, intended for the masses (8)
POPULIST – Place U for University inside a POP LIST – possibly the top ten in the hit parade (showing my age!).

23a         Books that provide meaningful help, by definition (12)
DICTIONARIES – A nice simple cryptic definition.

26a         For the Romans, one day each month that is cut short (4)
IDES – Cut the last letter from the Latin phrase for ‘that is’ – ID EST.

27a         Diagnose ill in US city (3,5)
SAN DIEGO – An ill/sick anagram of DIAGNOSED.

28a         Unknown person runs into road rage (8)
STRANGER – You need to place R for Runs (the cricketing abbreviation) inside ST(reet) and ANGER/rage.



2d           Computers, for example, are added to hospital ward after reconstruction (8)
HARDWARE – A nicely constructed clue with a fine surface reading. Place ARE (from the clue) after (added to) H for Hospital and an anagram (after reconstruction) of WARD.

3d           Theatrical performance after eleven near West End (7,5)
TWELFTH NIGHT – TWELFTH is after eleven (or more correctly eleventh). Then add NIGH for near and the end letter of west. Another excellent surface reading.

4d           Lacking consistency — unlike 1984, for example? (6)
UNEVEN – The cryptic definition refers to the fact that 1984 is an even year i.e. uneven/odd.

5d           Scrap yard (4)
SPAR – Two definitions – to fight/box and a Yard-Arm on a ship which is also known as a SPAR.

6d           As part of goal, get past hazard in estuary (8)
CROSSBAR – A charade of CROSS (get past/over) and BAR – a sand bank or sand bar in an estuary that may cause a hazard for boats.

7d           Either way, audibly disapprove of bishop making blunder (4)
BOOB – This palindrome can be read forwards as BOO (show disapproval) and B for Bishop, or indeed the other way around!.

8d           Be looking at pages in social networking service (8)
FACEBOOK – FACE (be looking at) and BOOK (some bound pages) reveals the social networking service that steals your soul forever.

12d         From Pacific region, regrettably captured by European (12)
AUSTRALASIAN – ALAS (regrettably) inside an AUSTRIAN.

14d         When star makes first appearance in part of trip, unusually going North (5)
SUNUP – The star here is the Daystar so loathed by goths (please google “Goths in Hot Weather” for further info). The word for dawn is reversed (going North) inside triP UNUSually.

16d         March around one’s garden, originally (8)
PARADISE – The Garden of Eden was originally such according to the Bible. Place I’S (one’s) inside PARADE or march.

17d         Person changing position about product of mine, in addition (8)
MOREOVER – A MOVER (person changing position) around the outside of ORE which comes from a mine.

19d         Improperly search me for what might be in my jumper (8)
CASHMERE – An anagram (indicated by improperly) of SEARCH ME.

22d         Painter’s initial cover for textbook (6)
PRIMER – The cryptic definition is the initial covering or undercoat of a painter before the top coat. A primer is any introductory textbook.

24d         Succinctly claim powerlessness in hypocritical statement (4)
CANT – To say “CAN’T!” would be to shortly or succinctly claim that you are unable to do something.

25d         Prophetic book found in farmhouse — nothing odd in that (4)
AMOS – A book of the prophet AMOS in the Bible is also the even letters (nothing odd) in fArMhOuSe.

I’ll see you all next Thursday for my second Sunday stint.