ST 2671 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2671

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2671

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All!. We had  fun festive fare from Virgilius last week with Santa, his reindeer and some nativity based clues to boot.

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.


1a           Dreadfully slay with a cut, producing this? (8)
CASUALTY  – An anagram (dreadfully) of SLAY and  A CUT leads to a description of person thus injured.

5a           Rhythmic performer providing rhyme for answer (and the next one) (6)
DANCER – The first of our thematic clues being one of Santa’s reindeer. He rhymes with ANSWER and the next answer.

10a         Lively horse, after quiet start, sprinted — almost sure winner (7)
PRANCER – The name for a lively horse and a reindeer. P for Quiet (piano) to start with, then RAN (sprinted and finally all but the last letter in CER(t) –almost a sure winner.

11a         Teenager’s complaint rejected by politicians — sets up temporary site (7)
ENCAMPS – A reversal of ACNE (a teenager’s complaint that has been rejected)followed by MPS (politicians).

12a         Kind of wings with which Daedalus began (5)
DELTA – A fixed D shaped wing as on a Vulcan bomber for example. D for Delta id the beginning letter of Daedalus

14a         Celebrated at Christmas, criticised by wife at first (9)
WASSAILED – ASSAILED for criticized next to the first letter of W(ife).

15a         Flier for cricket club (3)
BAT – A simple double definition to get you started.

16a         and 20 Across: Jovial old man assault can upset (5,5)
SANTA CLAUS – The Reindeer Runner is an anagram (upset) of ASSAULT CAN

17a         Earth mother? (5)
VIXEN – A cryptic definition of the female animal that lives in an ‘earth’. Another thematic answer.

18a         Arrive ahead of time as celestial omen? (5)
COMET – Another thematic answer. COME(arrive) in front of T for Time.

20a         See 16
Its Behind You!.

22a         Female of 31, say, finishes off crossword so simple (3)
DOE – A female deer or reindeer and the final letters (finishes off) the last three words in the clue.

23a         and 28 Across: Tempestuous duo completing 16’s team of 31 (6,3,7)
DONNER AND BLITZEN – The last two of SANTA CLAUS’ REINDEER. Always excluding Rudolph of course!. Tempestuous here refers to the weather since in German their names are Thunder and Lightning.

25a         Group of travellers in next answer, for example, held back in congested air traffic (5)
TRIAD – The Magi were Three Wise Men. A TRIAD is any group of three and is hidden and reversed (held back in) the last three words in the clue.

27a         Those giving truly original Christmas presents (3,4)
THE MAGI – Reportedly the 26d’s of the original Christmas Presents at the birth of Jesus.

28a         See 23
Its Behind You!.

30a         Fast mover, as found in herd, possibly (6)
DASHER – Another of Santa’s reindeer –  AS (from the clue) inside an anagram (possibly) of HERD.

31a         Soundly control beloved animals (8)
REINDEER – Homophones (soundly) of REIGN and DEAR. The link of the main thematic material.


1d           Party drink I had for boy with amorous aims (5)
CUPID – A fruit CUP (party drink) and I’D (a contraction of I HAD. Another Reindeer.

2d           Oil finally framed by excited artist, like nativity scene (7)
STARLIT – Traditionally a star led the Magi to the manger where Jesus was born. Placec the last letter of oiL inside an anagram (excited) of ARTIST.

3d           Part of curve discernible in bar chart (3)
ARC – Part of a curved surface is hidden (discernible) in the last two words of the clue.

4d           Freely include argument swallowed by lightweight (5,2)
THROW IN – ROW (argument) inside THIN (lightweight or flimsy as in an argument!).

6d           3 disheartened and upset in African capital (5)
ACCRA – Take the answer to 3d, remove the middle letter (disheartened) and then add the reversal of same (and upset).

7d           It’s difficult to assemble without one vote (7)
COMPLEX – COMP(i)LE (assemble without/removing I for One) then add X for a vote (a cross put on a ballot paper).

8d           Denser ice fashioned into igloo, for example (9)
RESIDENCE – An igloo is an example of a home and is an anagram (fashioned) of DENSER ICE.

9d           Some interlopers I accosted in home of 27, originally (6)
PERSIA – The Magi were said to come from PERSIA which is pasrt (some) of interloPERS I Accosted.

13d         A small collection that’s valuable to owner (5)
ASSET – A form the clue then S for Small (as in S,M,L,XL) and then SET for collection.

15d         Support seen romantically and made effective, retrospectively (4-5)
BACK-DATED – A charade of BACK (support) and DATED (seen romantically).

17d         Short stay, very short — that so? (5)
VISIT – A charade of V (the short abbreviation of Very) then IS IT? For ‘Is that So?’

19d         Writing about incense in eating places, one of which had another role at Christmas (7)
MANGERS – Who forgot that MS is an abbreviation of Manuscript?. Add this around the outside of ANGER (incense) to get the plural of the animal feeding trough reportedly used as the crib for the baby Jesus. “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed”

20d         Brainboxes operated in intelligence group (6)
CRANIA – Simply RAN (operated) inside CIA – the American Central Intelligence Service.

21d         Bail due, as arranged within hearing (7)
AUDIBLE – A simple arranged anagram of BAIL DUE with a nice surface reading where hearing reads like a trial.

22d         Repeatedly, unknown learner is falling in awful ride — not heavy fall (7)
DRIZZLE – A light rain as opposed to a downpour. Repeat Z (an unknown variable) and add L for Learner inside an anagram (awful) of RIDE.

24d         European story gets uplifting treatment to fill with joy (5)
ELATE – A reversal (getting uplifting treatment) of E(uropean) and TALE (story).

26d         Person who gives fellow gold (5)
DONOR – A charade of DON (a fellow of a college) and OR (the heraldic term for gold).

29d         Occupying, we hear, accommodation full at Christmas (3)
INN – Sounds like IN (occupying). Traditionally in the Nativity there was no room here for Mary and Joseph.

Thanks to Virgilius for the festive puzzle. I should be back tomorrow with last Saturday’s review.



5 comments on “ST 2671

  1. Morning gnomethang.
    Thanks for the review; I must admit I had to google some of the reindeer when I solved this one (esp 23/28a)!
    Re 30a, I thought it was ‘as’ inside an anagram (possibly) of ‘herd’.

  2. You are both right of course – less haste more speed. i can’t edit this from my phone as the the interface is going a bit crackerdog !. I’ll sort it out a bit later.
    Thanks chaps!

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